About PINE

Who Are We and Why Care About Pluralism?

Who we are

PINE (Pluralism in Economics) is a student-driven initiative at Maastricht University that wants to foster debate about pluralist economics and improve the economics curriculum in order to include a plurality of perspectives. We are working at University College Maastricht (UCM), a Liberal Arts College in the center of Maastricht.

What we do

Our work can be divided into three pillars

Assessment

Examining the current curriculum

  • Assessment report

  • Design the "Economics and Society" course

  • Suggest specific improvements

  • Request adaptation of outside courses

Events

Organizing various events

  • Guest lectures

  • Discussions and debates

  • Reading circles

  • Awareness campaigns

Conference

Organizing the PINE Conference

  • 2019: The Purpose of the Economy

  • 2018: Capitalism and Inequality

  • 2017: Capitalism and Democracy

Arguments for Pluralism

There are four arguments one could make for pluralism in economics education

Epistemology

Economics is a social science and social sciences need a pluralistic approach.

Complexity

Complex realities cannot be grasped by only one theory.

Learning

Being academic means being a pluralist.

Liberal Arts

Critical thinking is vital to Liberal Arts and there is an inherent link between critical thinking and pluralism.

Our team

Left: Laura, Cara, Jonas, Marla, Maxine, Max, Franca, Maurice, Hannah, Jonas (missing: Paulina, Martin, Enrico)

Mission

To pursue our idea of a pluralist economics education, PINE UCM wants to…

  1. Facilitate critical debate on economics and its many branches;
  2. Foster the learning about economic issues in a pluralist context;
  3. Contribute to the diversification of the economic discipline; and
  4. Prepare students to tackle and address pressing challenges of the 21st century.

Why Pluralism?

In the 20th century, the economics discipline has become entrenched in a narrow mainstream version of the discipline, effectively eliminating all other perspectives on the central topics of economics.

This development is regrettable in itself, because as a social science, pluralism (a diversity of views and perspectives) is essential for the discipline to thrive. However, the uniformity of economics has other, arguably even more important effects. Students and academics in the field are not sufficiently encouraged to be critical of the theories they learn and to question the underlying assumptions, and economic policy is guided by a social science that is not based on open, critical debate, but on the perpetuation of mainstream, quasi-dogmatic tenets and assumptions. Because of these reasons, societal and ecological challenges of the 21st century cannot be addressed appropriately.

Pluralism in economics entails firstly that the many different existing branches receive attention and consideration, and secondly that economics is more closely linked to other related disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology, psychology and political science.

Other Initiatives on Pluralism

ISIPE

In 2013, the International Student Initiative for Pluralism in Economics (ISIPE) published an open letter to call for more pluralistic approaches in the teaching of economics. Different student groups from all across the world associate with them to shout for a global change in the economics curriculum.

Check out their open letter and associated groups here!

Plurale Ökonomik

Plurale Ökonomik is the German network for pluralism in economics. Their two aims relate to the information of students, teachers or professors and anyone interested in the topic of economic theory and the action to implement more plural teaching in German Universities. They are closely associated with ISIPE and Pluralowatch and offer a great amount of readers that are accessible for anyone.

Check out their website here!

Rethinking Economics

Rethinking Economics is an international network of students, academics and professionals building a better economics in society and the classroom. Through a mixture of campaigning, events and engaging projects, Rethinking Economics connects people globally to discuss and enact the change needed for the future of economics, and to propel the vital debate on what economics is today.

Check out their website here!

Institute for New Economic Thinking

The Institute for New Economic Thinking is dedicated to the rigorous pursuit of innovative economic theories and methods that address society’s most pressing concerns.

Check out their website here!

Levy Economics Institute

The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, founded in 1986 through the generous support of Bard College trustee Leon Levy, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy research organization. The Levy Institute is independent of any political or other affiliation, and encourages diversity of opinion in the examination of economic policy issues while striving to transform ideological arguments into informed debate.

Check our their website here!

Universities

Different universities have already assessed their curriculum and made their assessment reports available online.