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DIVISION Ι POLITICAL ECONOMY

The Division of Political Economy is the Department's largest, employing 15 tenured faculty members  plus 4 adjunct lecturers. The Division’s research and teaching spans the fields of Political Economy, Economic Theory, Applied Economics and Economic Policy.

Political Economy has a long tradition at the University of Athens. Upon its foundation in 1837 one of the first chairs to be established was that of Political Economy. In this sense, the University of Athens was one of the first European Universities to have admitted political economy in to the academe as an autonomous, pivotal research and teaching field. The tradition that began in 1837 continues unabated to this date. Indeed, political economy remains at the core of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Athens, in sharp contrast to most other European, UK and American Universities in which the tradition of Political Economy  has faded in recent decades.

In other Universities, for instance, the equivalent subject-matter is referred to simply as Economics or Economic Theory. At the University of Athens, however, even though the Division of Political Economy researches in and meticulously teaches Economic Theory, we insist on the term Political Economy as a symbol of our continued commitment to the tradition started by the classical political economists, such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Robert Malthus, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, (and we include John Maynard Keynes); a tradition that is often at odds with what passes today as mainstream economics.

The preservation of the label Political Economy is, thus, not just a matter of terminology. It is also a matter of substance. It highlights our conviction that the great theoretical issues concerning the functioning of modern economies, irrespectively on whether they occur in the sphere of macroeconomics, microeconomics or  in some applied context, are never  readily accessible unless they are studied in the context of an approach that, on the one hand, makes use of the latest technical methods (e.g. econometrics, game theory, experimental methods) but, on the other hand, combines economic theory with history, philosophy and the rest of the social and political sciences. This fertile blend of interdisciplinary approaches we call 'Political Economy'. 

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