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Rediscovering Political Economy

Edited by Joseph Postell and Bradley C. S. Watson - Contributions by Bruce Caldwell; Samuel Hollander; Alan Levine; Peter McNamara; John Mueller; Larry Schweikart; Robert A. Sirico; Richard Wagner; Bradley C. S. Watson and Thomas G. West

The recent economic crisis in the United States has highlighted a crisis of understanding. In this volume, Bradley C. S. Watson and Joseph Postell bring together some of America's most eminent thinkers on political economy—an increasingly overlooked field wherein political ideas and economic theories mutually inform each other. Only through a restoration of political economy can we reconnect economics to the human good. Economics as a discipline deals with the production and distribution of goods and services. Yet the study of economics can-indeed must—be employed in our striving for the best possible political order and way of life. Economic thinkers and political actors need once again to consider how the Constitution and basic principles of our government might give direction and discipline to our thinking about economic theories, and to the economic policies we choose to implement. The contributors are experts in economic history, and the history of economic ideas. They address basic themes of political economy, theoretical and practical: from the relationship between natural law and economics, to how our Founding Fathers approached economics, to questions of banking and monetary policy. Their insights will serve as trusty guides to future generations, as well as to our own. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 272Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-0-7391-6659-8 • Hardback • August 2011 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-0-7391-6660-4 • Paperback • August 2011 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-0-7391-6661-1 • eBook • August 2011 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Joseph Postell is assistant professor of political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs.
Bradley C.S. Watson is professor of political science at Saint Vincent College in Pennsylvania, where he holds the Philip M. McKenna Chair in American and Western Political Thought.
1 Introduction
Part 2 Part I: Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy
Chapter 3 Chapter 1: The Moral Basis for Economic Liberty
4 Chapter 2: Restoring Sound Economic Thinking: What Natural Law Taught Us
5 Chapter 3: The Idea of Commerce in Enlightenment Political Thought
6 Chapter 4: Understanding Friedrich Engels (and Marx) and Adam Smith on Economic Organization and the Price Mechanism
7 Chapter 5: Ten (Mostly) Austrian Insights for These Trying Times
8 Part II: Political Economy and American Economic Experience
9 Chapter 6: Promoting the General Welfare: Political Economy for a Free Republic
10 Chapter 7: The Economic Theory of the American Founding
11 Chapter 8: Hamilton and Jefferson: Two Visions of Democratic Capitalism
12 Chapter 9: The Right Kind of Regulation: How the Founders Thought about Regulation
13 Chapter 10: American Banking from Birth to Bust, and All Points in Between
Rediscovering Political Economy provides a useful bridge for 21th Century-trained neoclassical economists and their students to the philosophical, religious, and political underpinnings of economic men—men who are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among which are: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Richard V. Burkhauser, Sarah Gibson Blanding Professor of Policy Analysis and Management, Cornell University

Rediscovering Political Economy is an excellent and diverse collection of ten essays on political economy. Tom West's essay on the economic thought of the Founders and Larry Schweikart's history of banking have particular insight into the interplay between liberty and politics. I recommend this book.
Burt Folsom, Hillsdale College, and author of FDR Goes to War

Rediscovering Political Economy collects papers that not only address the moral/ethical foundations of economic society, but a rethinking of the enterprise of economics and political economy. Economics for most of the 20th century was practiced as a purely technical science that ignored not only its philosophical roots but also the historical details associated with the political, legal, and social institutions within which economic activity takes place. The papers, and the references they provide, reflect the efforts of many scholars to reconnect economics and political economy to the "worldly philosophy" and the historical reality of economic and political life. Rediscovering Political Economy is a welcomed addition to the literature in philosophy, politics, and economics.
Peter Boettke, George Mason University

The collection of essays is best viewed as a road toward the rediscovery of political economy... Rediscovering Political Economy is a useful book for understanding the polity’s ongoing demise as well as its prospects for eventual rebirth.
Timothy J. Barnett; Acton Institute PowerBlog

Rediscovering Political Economy is a useful book for understanding the polity’s ongoing
demise as well as its prospects for eventual rebirth.

Timothy J. Barnett; Journal of Markets & Morality