In the wake of the recent financial crisis, scholars across the humanities and social sciences have been rethinking their attitude to economics – not just its impact on our lives but the origins of the particular vision of economics that has come to dominate both the discipline and wider political and social debates. While there is much expertise in these areas scattered across the University, there are, at present, no platforms for interdisciplinary research that brings scholars together.
Economy and Society: Past, Present and Future will address this problem by providing a forum for discussion for scholars from a number of departments, including History, Sociology, English, Politics and Social Policy, which we hope will forge long-lasting collaborative networks. Building on the idea that to analyse the present crisis, and potentially ways out of it, it is necessary to understand, both sociologically and politically, the historical conditions under which it emerged, the strand’s first year will feature three sets of themed discussion/reading groups, which will culminate each term with a seminar with an external speaker. These themes – Crises, Science and Economics, and Economy and Society Outside of the West – will encourage wide participation across departments, from both a core throughout the year and others who will be attracted to a specific term.