Rethinking Economics Switzerland promotes pluralism in Economics teaching at the Swiss Universities.
What is pluralism?
As in many disciplines, Economics is made of many theories and ideas that try to make sense of the world around us. Pluralism is the recognition of this diversity of thought and the fact that economic issues can be explained by multiple approaches. Some examples of economics schools of thought are Neoclassical Economics, Post-Keynesian Economics, Complexity Economics, Austrian Economics, or Ecological Economics. You can learn more about those, and many others, on Exploring Economics.
Why do we need (more) pluralism?
Economics is a social science that seeks to explain how the economy works, how people interact and what drives their economic decisions. Unlike mathematics and physics, it cannot uncover universal laws. Economic phenomena are embedded in culture and social interactions as well as the environment. This means that there is not only one truth in economics but that probably every theory has something to bring to the table to explain the world.
Acknowledging this, we think that students would benefit from being presented different schools of thought in Bachelor and Master level Economics courses. This would enable them to become even better economists as they would be able to master different approaches that might be useful for a variety of problems in our world.
The official goals of Rethinking Economics Switzerland are :
- Promote economic pluralism.
- Promote changes in research and in education of the economic science by allowing different schools of thought to integrate them and other social sciences to contribute.
- Introduce the public and students to a variety of approaches in economics and equip them with tools to critically evaluate these approaches and real-world economics.
- Democratize the access to economics by making economic knowledge more widely available.
Rethinking Economics Switzerland was born on 13th October 2018 in Fribourg, where the First National Gathering of the national network occurred. At the meeting, there were members from Rethinking Economics Lugano, Rethinking Economics Genève and Plurale Ökonomik Zürich, plus other external members from other Swiss cities. On that day, we decided to set up the official national student association and join the already well-established international network, which previously approved and officially embraced the single groups.
Today, several other groups have been created in all the main Swiss universities and are ready to work together in order to change the status quo of discipline at Swiss universities’ Economics departments. Every year, members from all local groups meet to share and exchange at our National Gathering for a day of workshops, conferences, and apéro!
The national network is now coordinated by two National Coordinators based in Lausanne and Zurich, who happily seek to improve and grow Rethinking Economics Switzerland.