Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Is economics frightening?

not the point
I have scanned a birthday card that I am sending to an economist friend, and was musing that every year some students ask about studying economics for the first time and many find this a daunting prospect.

We support those who have not studied economics before with an Economics for Beginners course which is non-assessed. It provides a foundation for other courses that are based in economics, introducing microeconomics, macroeconomics, development economics, statistics and econometrics. 

Economics is one of several disciplines that come together in the Violence, Conflict and Development programme. Like others, it provides a set of methodological tools for generating and analysing data and offers a perspective on the phenomena of wars, political and social violence that we are working to understand.

While some academics have a background in economics, others are political scientists, anthropologists or have taken development studies degrees as part of their own training. All of us conduct primary research in areas that experience violent conflict and we draw on a variety of disciplines and narratives in our work.

The VCD programme has been running for ten years now. Chris Cramer, the pioneer convenor of the course, is currently on sabbatical. I tracked him down amongst his research projects and he sent me these photos that he took last year in Bethlehem. He was on a Lecture Tour organised by the Kenyon Society, for which he lectured in Hebron, Birzeit, Ramallah, and East Jerusalem. The photos bring together some of the themes of the course – borders, causes and subjectivities of violence, resistance and the possibility of peace.

So it’s not all about economics, and economics isn’t frightening!

Make humus not war

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