Definition, history and applications of political economy (2023)

What is political economy?

Political economy is an interdisciplinary branch of the social sciences that focuses on the interrelationships between individuals, governments, and public policy.

National economists examine how economic theories likecapitalism,socialismand communism work in the real world. Deep down, all economic theory is a methodology used as a means of directing the distribution of a finite set of resources in order to benefit the greatest possible number of individuals.

More generally, political economy was once the common term for the field we now call political economy.the business. Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Jean-Jacques Rousseau used the term to describe their theories.Short-term economics was replaced in the early 20th century by the development of more rigorous statistical methods for analyzing economic factors.

The term political economy is still commonly used to describe any government policy that has economic effects.

The central theses

  • The field of political economy deals with how economic theories such as capitalism or communism play out in the real world.
  • Those who study political economy seek to understand how history, culture, and mores affect an economic system.
  • Global political economy studies how political forces shape global economic interactions.

political economy

Understand political economy.

Political economy is a branch of social science that studies the relationship that forms between a nation's population and its government when public policy is enacted. It is, therefore, the result of the interaction between politics and business and the basis of the discipline of the social sciences.

As mentioned above, there are several notable types of political economy:

  • Socialism:This type of political economy promotes the idea that the production and distribution of goods and wealth are maintained and regulated by society and not by a specific group of people. The reason for this is that everything that is produced in society is done for the good of those who participate in it, regardless of their condition,I can, or position. Socialism aims to bridge the gap between empire and power, where one or more individuals do not hold the majority of power and wealth.
  • Capitalism:This theory advocates profit as the reason for the rise. Simply put, the idea behind capitalism is that individuals and other actors are driven by their own interests: they control production and distribution, set prices, and createsupply and demand.
  • Communism:People often confusecommunismwith socialism, but there is a clear difference between these two theories. Communism was a theory developed byCarlos Marx, who believed that capitalism was limited and had created a huge gap between rich and poor. He believed in shared resources, including ownership, and that production and distribution should be overseen by the government.

Those who study political economy are called political economists. Its study generally involves examining how public policy, the political situation, and political institutions affect a country's economic position and future through a sociological, political, and economic lens.

Political economy can draw on sociology, economics, and political science to define how government, the economic system, and politics affect each other.

History and development of political economy.

The roots of political economy as we know it today go back to the 18th century. Scholars of this period studied how wealth was distributed and managed among people. Previous work examining this phenomenon has included that ofAdam SmithyJohn Stuart's Mill.

But the term is probably best attributed to the French writer and economist Antoine de Montchrestien. He wrote a book in 1615 entitled "Traité de l'économie politique" in which he examined the need to redistribute production and wealth on a much larger scale, not within the household as Aristotle suggested. The book also looked at how economics and politics are linked.

Smith was a philosopher, economist and writer commonly known as the father of economics and political economy. In his first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, he wrote about the workings of a self-regulating free market.Sein berühmtestes Werk „An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations“ (oder „An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations“)The Wealth of Nations") helped shape classical economic theory. It was also used as a foundation for future economists.

Mill combined economics with philosophy. he believed itUtilitarianism- that actions that lead to people's goodwill are right and that those that lead to suffering are wrong.Essentially, he believed that economic theory and philosophy, along with social conscience in politics, were necessary to make better decisions for the good of the people. Some of his works, including "Principles of Political Economy", "Utilitarianism" and "A System of Logic", led him to become one of the most important figures in politics and economics.

Political economy in science

Political economy has become its own academic discipline in recent years. Many major institutions offer the course as part of their political science, economics and/or sociology faculties.

Research is conducted by political economists to determine how public policy affects behavior, productivity and trade. Much of their study helps them discover how money and power are distributed among people and different groups.You can do this by studying specific areas such as law, bureaucratic politics, legislative behavior, the interface between government and business, and regulation.

The study can be approached in three ways:

  • Interdisciplinary research:The interdisciplinary approach draws on sociology, economics, and political science to define how government institutions, an economic system, and a political environment affect and affect each other.
  • New Political Economy:This approach is studied as a set of actions and beliefs, trying to make explicit assumptions that lead to political debates about social preferences. The new political economy combines the ideals of classical political economists with recent analytical advances in economics and politics.
  • International Political Economy:Also known as global political economy, this slightly different approach looks at the connection between business and international relations. It draws on many academic fields, including political science, economics, sociology, cultural studies, and history. International political economy is concerned with how political forces such as states, individual actors and institutions affect global economic interactions.

Modern applications of political economy

Modern Applications of Political Economy examines the works of more contemporary philosophers and economists, such as Karl Marx.

As mentioned above, Marx became disillusioned with capitalism as a whole. He believed that individuals suffered from regimented social classes, in which one or more individuals controlled most of the wealth. Under communist theories this would be eradicated, allowing everyone to live equally while the economy works based on the skills and needs of each participant. In communist regimes, resources are controlled and distributed by the government.

Most people confuse socialism with communism. It is true that there are some similarities, notably that both emphasize reducing the gap between rich and poor and that society must change the balance between all citizens. But there are inherent differences between the two. Whereas resources are owned and controlled by the government in a communist society, individuals own property in a socialist society. People can still buy goods and services under socialism, while those living in a communist society receive their basic necessities from the government.

What does political economy mean?

The term political economy refers to a branch of social science that focuses on the relationships between individuals, governments, and public policy. It is also used to describe policies set by governments that affect their countries' economies.

What is the main concern of political economy?

The main concern of political economy is to determine the relationship between governments and individuals and how public policies affect society. This is done by studying sociology, politics and economics.

What are the characteristics of political economy?

Some of the features or issues of a political economy include the distribution of wealth, how goods and services are produced, who owns property and other resources, who benefits from production, supply and demand, and how public policy and government interaction affect the society.

What are the types of political economy?

Types of political economy include socialism (which holds that all production and wealth should be regulated and distributed throughout society), capitalism (where private owners control a nation's industry and commerce for profit), and communism ( the theory that all property is public). -Own ownership and each works according to their own needs and strengths).

Who coined the term political economy?

Adam Smith is generally considered to be the father of economics and the father of political economy. But the term is usually credited to the French economist Antoine de Montchrestien, who wrote the book Traité de l'économie politique, which translates as political economy contract.

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