Political economy: History with the politics left out?

Roger Backhouse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper argues that Milonakis and Fine, in their book From Political Economy to Economics, offer an account of history that systematically omits discussion of how economics has been shaped by the political and social context in which it developed. This contrasts with work by intellectual historians who have argued that such factors were crucial to understanding the history of economic ideas. It is ironic given that Milonakis and Fine are criticising economists for excluding the political and the social from economics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-38
Number of pages15
JournalHistorical Materialism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • intellectual history
  • political economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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