As 21st-century political debate becomes polarized across ideological lines, students and citizens need to understand the underlying values on which contending arguments are based. The current political gridlock calls for a deeper appreciation of the competing perspectives in political ecomy. Now revamped for a third edition, Political Ecomy: A Comparative Approach supplies a truly interdisciplinary examination of the development and evolution of political ecomy from the Enlightenment onward, drawing material from the realms of political theory, sociology, philosophy, and history as well as from ecomics to present detailed comparisons of competing perspectives on a variety of current issues. The book begins with an introduction to political ecomy that provides readers with an overview of the historical development of the discipline, followed by in-depth analyses of four ideological perspectives in political ecomy--Classical Liberalism, Radicalism, Conservatism, and Modern Liberalism. The author then applies each of the four ideological perspectives to a range of contemporary issues, such as the role of government, ecomic instability, poverty, labor relations, discrimination, education, culture, the environment, and international trade. Readers will gain insight into the methods and practice of political ecomics as well as better understand the history of political/ecomic thought and the effects of historical processes--European industrialization, for example--on modern debates.
Barry Clark, PhD, is emeritus professor of economics and former department chairperson at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He currently teaches at the University of Colorado-Boulder.