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Political Economy: The Social Sciences’ Red Pill

by Yanis Varoufakis on May 25, 2016
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'Political Economy: The Social Sciences' Red Pill'

This is the video recording of the event surrounding the appointment of Yanis Varoufakis as an Honorary Professor within the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. 

Many thanks to all the participants for making it such a special event!

Yanis_V (2)

Yanis Varoufakis

Yanis Varoufakis read mathematics and economics at the Universities of Essex and Birmingham and subsequently taught economics at the Universities of East Anglia, Cambridge, Sydney, Glasgow, Texas and Athens where he still holds a Chair in Political Economy and Economic Theory.
He is the author of a number of books, including The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the World Economy. His next book, to be published in April 2016 by Penguin-Random House, is entitled: And the Weak Suffer What They Must? Europe, Austerity and the Threat to Global Stability.
Varoufakis was, in his own words, “thrust onto the public scene by Europe’s inane handling of an inevitable crisis”. In January 2015 he was elected to Greece’s Parliament with the largest majority in the country and served as Greece’s Finance Minister (January to July 2015). During his term he experienced first hand the authoritarian inefficiency of the European Union’s institutions and had to negotiate with the Eurogroup, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. His stint in government ended when he refused to sign a loan agreement that condemned Greece to yet another calamitous debt-deflationary cycle.

2 Comments
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  • Judy Whitehead
    May 25, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Good talk, but too bad that 2/3 of the world was left out, i.e. China, India, Russia, etc. etc. etc. Also no discussion of imperialism when the world as of today looks to a fair degree like what Lenin described. How can one expect to understand the desires of the young man in Mumbai without understanding the history of colonial capitalism, in which the respective world positions of India and China changed from being centres of the world economy in 1500 to being very peripheral by 1900? How to explain wage differentials which are still huge between north and south? And why the omission of the ‘global South’ when that vast region now contains the majority of the global industrial work force? Why does China only enters as a negative meme about its current debt problems, or emerging markets as the centre of the next crisis? How can one explain this without reference to a theory of imperialism? A very good Eurocentric talk (in the best sense), but with lots of gaps, both in terms of world economy and of the role of progressive politics in the global South. Leads me to wonder was Syriza too bound by its ‘affection’ for and ‘identity’ with Europe to not develop a Plan B and perhaps, follow the Argentinian path?

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