Masters Program in Economics | John Jay College - PEP - Promoting Economic Pluralism

Masters Program in Economics | John Jay College

The Master of Arts in Economics at John Jay College is a 36-credit graduate program that provides students with a comprehensive and rigorous education in pluralist economics. It is one of a handful of graduate programs in the U.S. that provides training in Marxist, Postkeynesian, Feminist, and Environmental Economics.

How does the programme provide content to ensure students achieve an understanding of a reasonably diverse set of perspectives on understanding economies?

At the end the question is fundamentally about which side are you on? Do you want to teach economics from the perspective of capital, which absolves the dominant social system, or from the perspective of the working class, which implies a critical analysis of the dominant social system. At John Jay, while we also critically teach mainstream economics, which serves those in power, we consciously made a choice to teach economics from a working class perspective which deeply resonates with our working class students. While we teach separate elective courses on the History of Economic Thought; Economic History; Environment; Gender; and Race, we integrate these into all of our courses. We seek to explain what stands for “common sense”, how it came to be, and who benefits and suffers from the status quo. 

How does the programme ensure students understand the interaction between economic and ecological systems?

Our program analyzes the economic and environmental history of capitalism at the global scale, as it has developed over the last five centuries. We treat capitalism not simply as an economic and social system but also as a macro-level metabolic and ecological regime; that is, a social system of organizing and continually re-organizing human and non-human nature. We offer an elective course, ECO 760: the Political Economy of the Environment, and integrate environmental history throughout the program. Central in this endeavor is exploring the origins and environmental consequences of the global North-South divide and the deep history of the world economy’s environmental crisis and the various spatial displacements of crisis that were part of the process of European imperial expansion. Our program analyzes the economic and environmental history of capitalism at the global scale, as it has developed over the last five centuries. We treat capitalism not simply as an economic and social system but also as a macro-level metabolic and ecological regime; that is, a social system of organizing and continually re-organizing human and non-human nature. We offer an elective course, ECO 760: the Political Economy of the Environment, and integrate environmental history throughout the program. Central in this endeavor is exploring the origins and environmental consequences of the global North-South divide and the deep history of the world economy’s environmental crisis and the various spatial displacements of crisis that were part of the process of European imperial expansion. Our program analyzes the economic and environmental history of capitalism at the global scale, as it has developed over the last five centuries. We treat capitalism not simply as an economic and social system but also as a macro-level metabolic and ecological regime; that is, a social system of organizing and continually re-organizing human and non-human nature. We offer an elective course, ECO 760: the Political Economy of the Environment, and integrate environmental history throughout the program. Central in this endeavor is exploring the origins and environmental consequences of the global North-South divide and the deep history of the world economy’s environmental crisis and the various spatial displacements of crisis that were part of the process of European imperial expansion. 

How does the programme ensure students understand how to critically explore real-world evidence, both qualitative and quantitative?

In all of our classes our faculty approaches economic questions through historical, empirical, and institutional lenses while recognizing that the field of economic analysis is a contested one. John Jay’s economics program, while heavy on theory and history, makes sure our students learn the quantitative program R. This is mainly taught in the first course of our required three course sequence (Eco 751, Eco 752, and ECO 799) on research methods that exposes students to various techniques and approaches used within and outside the discipline of economics to try and understand the complexities inherent in capitalist development. Important in this endeavor is the development of their communication skills (written and oral) to address popular and academic audiences. In all of our classes our faculty approaches economic questions through historical, empirical, and institutional lenses while recognizing that the field of economic analysis is a contested one. John Jay’s economics program, while heavy on theory and history, makes sure our students learn the quantitative program R. This is mainly taught in the first course of our required three course sequence (Eco 751, Eco 752, and ECO 799) on research methods that exposes students to various techniques and approaches used within and outside the discipline of economics to try and understand the complexities inherent in capitalist development. Important in this endeavor is the development of their communication skills (written and oral) to address popular and academic audiences. In all of our classes our faculty approaches economic questions through historical, empirical, and institutional lenses while recognizing that the field of economic analysis is a contested one. John Jay’s economics program, while heavy on theory and history, makes sure our students learn the quantitative program R. This is mainly taught in the first course of our required three course sequence (Eco 751, Eco 752, and ECO 799) on research methods that exposes students to various techniques and approaches used within and outside the discipline of economics to try and understand the complexities inherent in capitalist development. Important in this endeavor is the development of their communication skills (written and oral) to address popular and academic audiences. 

What pedagogical approaches does the programme use to ensure that students examine the historical context, assumptions and values in all economic thinking?

At John Jay we have an open and friendly environment where materials are discussed and shared among faculty and students. We also have an ongoing speaker series where invited guests present on their current theoretical or policy related projects. These and other activities contribute to a lively and productive intellectual atmosphere that has been recognized by fellow colleagues and institutions.

How does the department ensure that the teaching culture and capacity to deliver economic pluralism are continually improving?

We are a diverse group of scholars that, among many things, shares an interest in teaching as an organizing tool for students to make sense of their lives. Our departmental culture is one where a constant exchange of ideas about teaching takes place, not only among faculty, but also with students (many of them teach or plan on teaching in the near future). Some of our faculty have written articles about economics teaching, specifically regarding issues of inequality, alienation, and class, with various examples from popular culture feeding the practical and theoretical approaches. 

Other information:

Interview with Ian Seda-Irizarry about economic programs at John Jay College (min 28:22)

Country:

USA

University:

John Jay College

Course name:

Masters Program in Economics

Department/school:

Department of Economics

Course level:

Taught Masters

Course language:

English

Website:

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Masters Program in Economics | John Jay College

Masters Program in Economics

Department of Economics