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Happy Birthday to Progress in Political Economy (PPE)

by Gareth Bryant and Adam David Morton on August 31, 2018
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As editors of Progress in Political Economy (PPE), we would like to extend a massive congratulations to all the authors that have supported the blog, which now celebrates its fourth anniversary.

Following the hosting of an international workshop on ‘Questioning the Utopian Springs of Market Economy’ organised by Damien Cahill, Martijn Konings and Adam Morton, PPE was formally launched on 1 September 2014 thanks to the web design of Cemal Burak Tansel. Since that time we have published over 600 individual blog posts amounting to over 700,000 words of copy from nearly 200 different contributors generating nearly 600,000 page views.

The explicit aim of PPE has always been to advance progress in political economy and thereby occupy and command an alternative space to the mainstream presentation of Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) degrees where these are treated as separate disciplines by “specialists” with carefully drawn property lines.

Geographically, PPE is read globally with the ten top readerships located, in rank order, across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Mexico and Brazil. In fact, there are only nine countries where PPE is not read, which tells its own tale of uneven development to include: Turkmenistan, North Korea, Western Sahara, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and Burkina Faso.

The blog has prominently platformed key fora on feminism (see the Feminist Global ‘Secureconomy’ series curated by Sara Meger, Amanda Chisholm and Saskia Stachowitsch and the Scandalous Economics series curated by Aida Hozić and Jacqui True); on challenging Eurocentrism (see the How the West Came to Rule Symposium); on teaching (in the form of the Radical Economics Pedagogy focus); on literary geographies of political economy (see Literary Geographies of Political Economy) and on Honours research (in the form of the recent Five Minutes Honours Theses feature).

The Past & Present Reading Group, also launched in 2014 in the Department of Political Economy, has now completed 12 books. Each volume is featured on the blog, with Natasha Heenan writing most recently on Silvia Federici’s classic feminist text Caliban and the Witch and Oliver Mispelhorn writing on J.K. Gibson-Graham et al.’s Take Back the Economy.

In 2017 PPE was the recipient of the Best Blog (Group) Award by the Online Media Caucus of the International Studies Association (ISA). In 2018 this was succeeded by the award to both of us as PPE editors of the 2018 Special Achievement in International Studies, also from the Online Media Caucus of the International Studies Association (ISA).

The above sweep through the features on PPE is purely indicative. Whether it be creating space for the marquee event of the Wheelwright Lecture, debating award-winning books such as Susanne Soederberg’s Debtfare States or Jason W. Moore’s Capitalism in the Web of Life, bringing A Political Economy of Australian Capitalism into the digital world, or providing a repository for the Australian International Political Economy Network (AIPEN), the reach and influence of the PPE blog can claim to stretch across the local and global.

So where next?

The mantra of PPE has always been “the blog is only what we make of it”. We therefore look forward to receiving your submissions and proposals suggesting features and blog posts to enhance the collective focus on, and struggle for, progress in political economy.

As always, we thank you for your ongoing support and readership!

Gareth Bryant and Adam David Morton
Gareth Bryant and Adam David Morton are co-editors of Progress in Political Economy (PPE).

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