ABSTRACT

This chapter provides an exposition of a set of arguments that constitute a distinctive view about the direction of contemporary economics, including what forces drive change, what change strategies work and what desirable change in economics looks like. The arguments are a useful prelude to much of the analysis contained in subsequent chapters as they introduce some of the key debates and literatures around the issue of pluralism. The chapter gives particular focus to what can be termed ‘conservative reformism’, though perhaps the term ‘mild reformism’ might be just a good a descriptor to use. In any case, the position in question argues that contemporary economics, whilst currently less than perfect, is currently transitioning to something better. The key driver of change is developments within the orthodox research frontier. Indeed, some have argued that substantial and desirable change in economics has already occurred and they chastise critics inside and outside the profession for not properly recognising this.