Devolution and the silence of political economy

Political economy as a field of study seeks to explore the real world of economic organisation, looking beyond the market metaphor and the price mechanism, to examine how power dynamics contained in social and political relations shape and constitute economic life, and vice versa. If the financial crisis and subsequent economic stagnation has taught us one thing, it is that mainstream economics alone is incapable of furthering our understanding of how the economy really works.

Unfortunately, we appear not to have learned our lesson. The shallowness of the post-referendum debate on devolution across the UK demonstrates just how little the insights of political economy now feature in our public discourse on politics.  Indeed, this was evident most starkly during the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum.

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Image: Stuart Rankin