The Union for Radical Political Economics is 50 this year, and a notice has just been sent out about a 50th anniversary celebration at the University of Massachusetts . URPE was started in 1968 because of great frustration with standard economics, which had limited theories (neglecting power, for one thing) and confined to a narrow range of problems which did not include such things as imperialism, the military industrial complex and discrimination. I was one of the group of economics graduate students at the University of Michigan, that, after several years of working for change at the U.M. economics department, sent out a call for a new organization embodying different principles to economics departments across the United States. The response was great, and URPE was begun. (See the 1968 URPE Prospectus.)
URPE and the organizations and publications that preceded and came after its establishment, have come to be known as heterodox, for expressing a variety of analyses and analytical frameworks such as Marxism and Institutional Economics not present in standard economics. This significant group has permitted much useful analysis to be presented, which otherwise would have been stifled by standard economic journals.
Alas, the divide between standard and heterodox economics continues today. Gary Dimski Continue reading