Despite all the COVID limitations, there is much afoot! The journal I mentioned in the last edition of the newsletter is now up and running. Oikonomos, generously made possible by the History of Economics Society, is a journal for student research in the history of economic thought. Visit our website and sign up for updates.
My fantastic UD student editorial staff and I are hard at work on our first issue. We have received papers from student scholars across the U.S. and around the world. We also have a great international team of faculty and student reviewers. Reviewing and revisions take a lot of time and effort, but I am happy to report we are on schedule to publish issue 1 in fall 2021. If you are a current undergraduate or in your first year since graduating and have written a paper that fits the scope of the journal, please submit it for consideration for issue 2!
When I am not teaching and working on the journal, I am working on a new book that will be published in Palgrave’s Series in the History of Economic Thought. The book is on the Dublin Society, a private development organization formed in Ireland in 1731 to create solutions to the country’s economic recessions. One of the world’s first NGOs, the Dublin Society provides helpful lessons on how local solutions can combat extreme poverty in the absence of strong public institutions, which is transferable to many modern LDCs. The book is also about institutions, power and mercantilist notions of dependency imposed on the Irish and how the society tried to change all of them. You can read a bit about the society in a research article I wrote for Oeconomia’s open access special issue on econ as a public science here.
I was happy to have two guest speakers this past November and December. Although I originally meant them only for the Development class, I opened both talks to the wider UD community. Dr. Abraham Sarker talked with students about his thriving microfinance and social enterprise businesses in Bangladesh. It was great to welcome back Dr. James Riordan of Chemonics International to discuss his work and the new business development practices he implemented in his work for USAID in Peru. Some of you may remember Dr. Riordan, who has been a guest and supporter of our Development classes in the past.
In more student research news, I convinced the authors of the best papers from fall 2020’s Development class to present at the Southwestern Social Sciences Association Conference in New Orleans in April. This is a great opportunity for students to participate in a large econ conference and to get professional presentation experience — and all in a great city (or virtually, we shall see). I will let you know how it goes!