Sustainability of Economic Thought: Marginalism and its Critics

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 2EH426

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Economic History A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Department Board, 26 June 2020
Responsible department
Department of Economic History

General provisions

This course is included the Master's Programme in Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL).

Entry requirements

Accepted to the Master's Programme in Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL).

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • Critically discuss marginalism with regard to its relation to the history and to the society after 1870.
  • Give an account of the fundamental features of a number of different traditions of ideas that have challenged the market model during the 20th century.
  • Analyse the embedding of the market model in policy and in the social sciences during the period after 1970.


The course focuses on the challenges of the market model that have been made since 1900, with the aim to find both joint features and theoretically as well as contextually conditioned distinctive features. The so-called "neoclassical revolution" in economics immediately gave rise to critical debate and alternative attempts to explain economic conduct and economic development. The discussion has gone on since the "methodenstreit" and includes many different traditions of ideas from institutionalism over Schumpeters entrepreneurially led economic development and to -- for example -- feminist economics.

A number of central themes constitute the core of the course. They together constitute a lens through which it is possible to study different attempts to handle eternal questions:

- economic rationality and the economic actor,

- the role of the technology in economic development,

- the importance of institutions in the prevailing world order and the embedding or disembedding of markets in social contexts.


Instruction is given in the form of lectures and seminars. The language of instruction is English.


The students are assessed through fulfilment of written and oral assignments.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator

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