The Politics of Economics

Alternate Tuesdays 12:00-14:00 during term-time

Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building


Economics affects politics, politics affects economics, and there is politics internal to economics. The Politics of Economics will bring different disciplinary angles together for a discussion of these aspects of the politics-economics relation, and their normative and epistemic consequences.

Economics has been criticised from many angles. The Politics of Economics will not rehash these criticisms but will instead examine the ways in which politics and economics have been and are by necessity entwined in order to think about how we can and should structure economic advice.

Sign up to our mailing list for pre-circulated papers and announcements here

Administrative assistance:



Jack Wright  ( PhD Candidate, History and Philosophy of Science)
Raffaele Danna (PhD Candidate, History)
Kim Caspar Hecker (PhD Candidate, POLIS)
Jens van 't Klooster (PhD Candidate, Philosophy)
Alice Pearson (PhD Candidate, Sociology)
Ida A. B. Sognnaes (PhD Candidate, Land Economy)


Jack Wright is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. Jack works on scientific pluralism and contextualism and what they mean for economics, with a particular focus on how economic expertise can and should be structured. Jack has also written on the epistemic status of economic modelling and the use of evidence-based and data driven forms of reasoning in policy making. Jack has previous degrees in mathematics, economics, and philosophy.


Raffaele Danna is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of History. His research focuses on the diffusion of the “Commercial Revolution” from Italy to Europe relying mainly on the diffusion of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system between the XIII and the XVI centuries. He holds a BA and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Bologna. He is broadly interested in interdisciplinary approaches to History as well as to contemporary issues, an interest which he fosters also by sitting on the editorial board of Pandora – Rivista di Teoria e Politica.


Kim Hecker is a PhD candidate at the Department of Politics and International Studies looking at the relationship between contemporary perspectives on technological change and 20th century political thought. His wider research interests range from topics relating to philosophy of technology to 'realist' political theory.



Jens van 't Klooster is a PhD candidate in Philosophy who works on financial markets, distributive justice, and related topics. His dissertation is titled ‘How to make money: Distributive justice, finance and monetary constitutions’ and makes a case for money and finance as a central concepts of political philosophy.   



Ida Sognnaes is a PhD researcher at the Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance (C-EENRG) working on the interactions between energy, environment, and economic systems. Her thesis examines the application of integrated economic models to guide sustainable development. Ida has a broad interdisciplinary background centred around environmental issues and has degrees in applied mathematics and physics, political science, and energy and resources. Prior to setting up The Politics of Economics Ida ran Paper 0 for two years.  


Faculty Advisors

Dr Stephen John (Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science)
Dr Anna Alexandrova (Lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science)
Dr Ha-Joon Chang (Reader in Economics and Director of the Centre of Development Studies)
Professor David Runciman (Professor of Politics and Head of POLIS)

Programme 2017-18

Politics of Economics
Why Do Rich People Love Austerity?
10 October 2017, Seminar Room SG2, Alison Richard Building

Dan Hausman (Wisconsin-Madison) - Politics of Economics

Philosophy and Public Policy after Piketty
24 October 2017, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Martin O'Neill (York) - Politics of Economics

The Politics of New Economic Technologies
07 November 2017, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Hannah Kuchler (Financial Times), Mathew Lawrence (The Institute for Public Policy Research), Julian Gruin, (Amsterdam) - Politics of Economics

The Two Puzzles of Social Democracy: How it Confutes Market Doctrines
21 November 2017, Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Avner Offer (Oxford) - Politics of Economics

The Last Crisis of Social Democracy: Economics and Populisms
23 January 2018, Seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Wolfgang Munchau (Financial Times), Chirstopher Bickerton (Cambridge) - Politics of Economics

The Age of the Applied Economist: The Transformation of Economics Since the 1970s
06 February 2018, Seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Beatrice Cherrier (Caen) - Politics of Economics

Economics into Policy
20 February 2018, Seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Paul Johnson (Institute for Fiscal Studies), Angus Armstrong (National Institute for Economic and Social Research) - Politics of Economics

Populism and Central Bank Independence
06 March 2018, Seminar room SG1, Alison Richard Building

Rosa Lastra (Queen Mary, London) - Politics of Economics