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The Economics of John Kenneth Galbraith: Introduction, Persuasion, and Rehabilitation [Hardcover]

Stephen P. Dunn

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Book Description

11 Nov 2010
The recent financial crisis has once again seen John Kenneth Galbraith return to the bestseller lists. Yet, despite the continued popular success of his works, Galbraith's contribution to economic theory is rarely recognized by today's economists. This book redresses the balance by providing an introductory and sympathetic discussion of Galbraith's theoretical contributions, introducing the reader to his economics and his broader vision of the economic process. The book highlights and explains key features of Galbraith's economic thought, including his penetrating critique of society, his distinctive methodology, his specific brand of Keynesianism and his original - but largely ignored - contribution to the theory of the firm. It also presents, for the first time, a detailed examination of Galbraith's monetary economics and revisits his analysis of financial euphoria. This unique work seeks to rehabilitate Galbraith's contribution, setting out several directions for possible future research in the Galbraithian tradition.

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More About the Author

Dr Stephen Dunn is the Director of Delivery and Development for the NHS Trust Development Authority and a Visiting Professor in the Business School at the University of the West of England.

Dunn is an international authority on John Kenneth Galbraith and is widely published in leading economics journals. In 2000 Dunn received the prestigious K.William Kapp prize from one of Europe's largest economics associations. He has recently published "The Economics of John Kenneth Galbraith" with Cambridge University Press and the four volume reference collection, "John Kenneth Galbraith: The Economic Legacy", with Routledge.

For the past ten years he has also been leading the creation of a more commercial and competitive NHS. As a Senior Civil Servant in the Department of Health he was a principal architect of the flagship 'Foundation Trust' policy and Director of Policy on the "Our Health, Our Care, Our Say" white paper. Dunn is also the architect of the first competitive NHS acquisition at Bedfordshire and Luton and the innovative operating franchise at Hinchingbrooke.

In 2012 Dunn introduced the Friends and Family test into hospitals across midlands and east Anglia. The test was endorsed by David Cameron for roll out across the rest of the NHS. In 2011 Dunn received the "Outstanding Contribution by an Individual" award from HealthInvestor recognising his efforts in transforming the NHS. He also received the Laing and Buisson Independent Healthcare 2012 "Outstanding Contribution" award.

In his spare time Dunn is a serious painter. A series of paintings based on Galbraith's book "The Great Crash 1929" can be viewed, alongside other works, at www.artmarket.org.uk. Follow him on twitter @Stephen_P_Dunn



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Review

'Richard Parker's book John Kenneth Galbraith is an intellectual and political history nestled inside a biography. Stephen Dunn's book is almost exactly the opposite. Parker's book is about the man. Dunn's is about the structure of what went on inside his brain and what appeared in his major books.' James K. Galbraith, University of Texas, Austin 'This is a remarkably rich and intelligent assessment of John Kenneth Galbraith's place in, and relevance to, modern economics. At a moment when Galbraithian analysis far better explains the global financial crisis than any of the standard models, Stephen Dunn's cogent handling of the richness of Galbraith's authentic originality will help provoke a much-needed debate on where we are heading - and why.' Richard Parker, Harvard University, and official biographer of John Kenneth Galbraith 'In setting out to rehabilitate J. K. Galbraith, Stephen Dunn has done us all a great favor. This book would be important at any time. In the current global conditions, it is invaluable. It will provide a much needed impetus to encourage a new generation of economists and policy-makers to address the policy questions that so preoccupied Galbraith.' Patricia Hewitt MP, Former Secretary of State for Health and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 'Stephen Dunn has produced a timely, insightful and valuable introduction to the economic thinking of J. K. Galbraith. It deserves to be widely read. And it will inform debate in these interesting times.' Alan Milburn MP, Former Secretary of State for Health and Chief Secretary of the Treasury 'In the face of the financial crisis, Galbraith's work on the Great Crash of 1929 has gained particular attention for its many insights into the irrational exuberance of the financial sector. This book demonstrates the vast breadth of Galbraith's work on capitalism, the dominance of large corporations, private affluence and public squalor, technological development, poverty and government policy as well as money, finance and instability. This is all set within an appreciation of Galbraith's methodological approach. A fine monument to the continuing relevance of J. K. Galbraith.' Malcolm Sawyer, University of Leeds 'Stephen Dunn has done more than anyone else in the last decade to keep the ideas of John Kenneth Galbraith alive. In this volume Dunn establishes the breadth and depth of Galbraith's vision, and the force and contemporary relevance of his analysis. This work is a timely and engaging monument to one of the greatest economists of the twentieth century.' Geoff Hodgson, University of Hertfordshire 'Stephen Dunn's book on Galbraith is comprehensive and scholarly and an absorbing read. Dunn writes clearly, providing detailed suggestions for further research and developments based on Galbraith's contributions.' Geoff Harcourt, University of Cambridge 'Stephen Dunn is already a hero to health service reformers and to East of England patients for his work in East Anglia, which was not just about Hinchingbrooke, but a region-wide improvement in access and quality. Now he has also made a significant contribution to economic thinking.' Nick Bosanquet, Imperial College London

Book Description

Despite the continued popular success of his works, John Kenneth Galbraith's contribution to economic theory is rarely recognized by today's economists. This book redresses the balance by providing an introductory and sympathetic discussion of Galbraith's theoretical contributions, introducing the reader to his economics and his broader vision of the economic process.

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