Aberdeen Political Economy Group

The Aberdeen Political Economy Group (APEG) membership includes undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Aberdeen, along with University staff and members of the general public. We are convinced that scholarship must always be informed by a variety of perspectives, insights, and academic schools of thought. In this spirit, we host talks, panel debates, workshops, and other events.

By ‘political economy’ we mean approaches which view economic processes as dynamic and embedded in social relations. We deem it important to analyse economic phenomena in the light of historical contexts, power relations and social norms. Contemporary political economy furthermore emphasises the importance of gender, the environment and cultural and ethical considerations.

Although there are significant differences between specific political economy approaches, they tend to cross the boundaries normally occupied by traditional Economics in conjunction with other disciplines including Politics, International Relations, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Geography, Philosophy, Law, and other social sciences. The group is therefore intentionally interdisciplinary. 

APEG underpinning aims are:

  • To create a pluralistic interdisciplinary forum where all brands of political economy are welcome while promoting discussion and debate.
  • To encourage the sharing of ideas, resources and materials related to political economy approaches.

Association for Heterodox Economics

The Association for Heterodox Economics (AHE) is a learned society which aims to promote open and tolerant debate in economics through a pluralist approach to theory, method, and ideology. The Association, and its membership, seek to promote heterodox economics and perspectives in the academic, governmental and private spheres of the discipline of economics.

The Association is primarily committed to pluralistic analyses of contemporary society and its alternatives. Researchers in the heterodox tradition work on many themes, including: sustainability; globalisation and geographical inequality; exploitation by social class, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexuality; the ethical basis for competing economic systems; the theory and history of economic crisis; the analysis of pricing, competitive processes and monopoly power; fundamental uncertainty; and finance, value and debt. The AHE also promotes the study of economic history and the history of economic thought, insofar as they have shaped the present economic system and our thinking about it. In exploring these themes members of the AHE accept and embrace the legitimacy of competing theoretical perspectives and recognise that a plurality of methods is required to provide a robust analysis of, and policy prescriptions for, the socio-economic system.

There are many traditions which make up contemporary economics – including neoclassical, Austrian, feminist, green, institutionalist, Marxian, post-Keynesian, radical and Sraffian economics. However, among these competing perspectives, one “mainstream” approach – neoclassical economics – has come to occupy a position of hegemonic domination. It is this domination which the AHE seeks to challenge, through dialogue between alternative perspectives. Heterodox economists in the non-neoclassical traditions are welcome to join the Association, as are neoclassical economists if their work reflects upon the plurality of perspectives which make up the contemporary economics discipline.

In more than ten years the AHE has established a reputation as a major national and international forum for the discussion of alternative economic perspectives and for the interdisciplinary and pluralist nature of its discussions. It also plays an on-going role in strengthening the community of heterodox economists and in the development of heterodox economic theories on various themes through the dissemination of ideas and arguments. For example, since the onset of the recent global financial crisis, heterodox economists have held neoclassical economics to account for its failure to predict and explain what has happened. The AHE has also been particularly vociferous in challenging the power structures of the profession in theUK, such as the Research Excellence Framework, the Royal Economic Society and the Association of Business Schools (ABS) ranking of economics journals. Finally, nationally and internationally, it has lobbied on issues such as pluralism in teaching, research and research evaluation, openness to innovation and creativity, and the policy stances of economists and decision-makers.

The annual AHE Conferences have been a particular feature of our Society. They have taken place at various British universities, as well as at Dublin City University (Ireland) and the University of Bordeaux (France). In addition the Association runs a Postgraduate Training Workshop – delivered by internationally renowned heterodox economists – which introduces graduate students to the pluralist methods which can be utilised to further our understanding of contemporary socio-economies.

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking is a non-hierarchical, apolitical, collaborative research and education project, started in 2012, that analyses the current political economy to identify fundamental flaws and potential levers for change. The project aims to understand the historical context of issues from different perspectives and explore their current and future impacts on social cohesion, inequality, individual liberty and civilization as we know it. Critical Thinking’s research and analysis is a collaborative work of thousands of individuals and groups, both contemporary and historic, drawing on information and understanding from the current and previous civilizations. Critical Thinking comprises a group of individuals in London interacting with groups and individuals around the world.

Dreamcatcher, South Africa & ARA-UK

The Dreamcatcher Foundation is a non-profit development trust founded 3 decades ago in South Africa to spearhead socio-economic development of township communities in South Africa to alleviate poverty through self-employment. The main focus is the development of entrepreneurs and community development around the cor growth sectors of South Africa and the aim is to enable inclusive access to mainstream business, alleviate unemployment and poverty and to growth the regional economy through job creation and new innovations.


The ENLIGHTEN collaborative project is concerned with the legitimacy of European governance in dealing with what we call fast and slow-burning crises. Fast burning crises are readily identified – they are the political and economic shocks of recent years, which have provided direct challenges to European institutions and their governance modalities. Slow-burning crises are less obvious yet no less important. In slow-burning crises the political, social, and economic challenges are long-term and widespread, but do not generate immediate political attention.

The ENLIGHTEN research team are investigating both fast- and slow-burning crises in the European political economy to understand how to bolster and maintain the legitimacy of Europe’s governing institutions. We will be thinking through these problems while using a number of conceptual and methodological innovations to trace expert networks and institutional changes. To ground us we are specifically addressing the following policy fields that map onto our fast and slow-burning distinction: Banking Crises and Fiscal SustainabilityDeficit Reduction and Continuity of Public ServicesYouth Employment and Inclusive Growth.

Finance Watch

Finance Watch is an independent non-profit Members’ association set up in 2011 to act as a public interest counterweight to the powerful financial lobby. Our mission is to strengthen the voice of society in the reform of financial regulation by conducting advocacy and presenting public interest arguments to lawmakers and citizens. Our Members are civil society organisations and expert individuals, supported by a full-time secretariat.

Good Works

Good Works makes it easier to help each other create a more ethical workplace.

Green Economy Coalition

The Green Economy Coalition (GEC) is a diverse set of organisations from different sectors, including NGOs, research institutes, UN organisations, businesses, and trade unions. We have come together because we recognise that our economy is failing to deliver either environmental sustainability or social equity.  In short, our economic system is failing people and the planet.

Hertie International Development Network

Hertie International Development Network, a network of young experts affiliated with the Hertie Foundation and the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin. This event is kindly supported through the Hertie Fellows & Friends initiative.

Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School

The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School (INET Oxford) is a multidisciplinary research institute dedicated to applying leading-edge thinking from the social and physical sciences to global economic challenges.

The Institute includes over 60 affiliated scholars from disciplines that range from economics, to mathematics, computer science, physics, biology, ecology, geography, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, public policy, business, and law.

INET Oxford is unique in its ability to bring these multiple perspectives to bear on problems that include:

  • How do we make the global financial system more robust and resilient?
  • How do we re-invigorate economic growth and innovation?
  • How do we address rising economic inequality?
  • How do we create a model of economic growth that is environmentally sustainable?
  • How should we teach economics to the next generation of leaders?
  • INET Oxford researchers work closely with policy-makers and leaders in business and civil society to bring new economic ideas and thinking into debates and practice in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

In addition to its applied work, INET Oxford conducts theoretical and empirical research on economic issues using innovative approaches and tools ranging from complex systems theory and agent-based modelling, to network analysis, novel econometric techniques, behavioural and experimental economics, and “big data” techniques.

INET Oxford was established in May 2012 as a result of a grant to the University by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET). INET is a philanthropic foundation based in New York that was founded in 2009 in the wake of the financial crisis to promote innovative, cross-disciplinary, policy-relevant economic research. INET Oxford is a part of the University’s Oxford Martin School, a community of over 300 scholars working on the major challenges of the 21st century . INET Oxford’s staff includes faculty members from across the University’s departments, schools and colleges, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and visiting researchers from around the world.

In addition to core funding from INET, the Institute is grateful for support for its research programmes from the Resolution Foundation, European Commission, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), US Department of Energy, Rockefeller Foundation, Saïd Business Foundation, Dr. Otto Poon, and the Oxford Martin School Endowment.

Institute of International Monetary Research

Founded in 2014 by Professor Tim Congdon, CBE, Chairman, the Institute promotes research into how developments in banking and finance affect the wider economy.

The institute supports research projects on the relationship between money and other macroeconomic variables, in both the short and long runs, and in many countries.

The Institute’s agenda includes:

  • publication of research papers and books that incorporate the results of research projects
  • conferences and seminars on monetary policy and macroeconomics, and
  • guest lectures at which distinguished economists, policy-makers and thought leaders present their views on key macroeconomic issues of the day.



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