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Louis-Philippe Rochon and Hassan Bougrine
The names of Marc Lavoie and Mario Seccareccia have been associated with one another for well over four decades, during which time they made important contributions to post-Keynesian economics in general, but have also been associated with an array of more specific topics, including the theory of the monetary circuit, economic growth, fiscal policy, monetary policy/theory and endogenous money, growth theory, and microeconomics, among others. Individually or together, they contributed a vast arsenal of both critical and constructive papers and books: close to 300 journal and book articles, as well as a number of books, authored and edited, including the Canadian version of the American micro–macro textbook by Baumol and Blinder (see Baumol et al., 2009a; 2009b). Throughout their long and distinguished careers, their contributions have pushed post-Keynesian and heterodox economics in many interesting and fruitful directions, and they have influenced a number of scholars as well as students around the world. Steadfast in their criticism of neoclassical – or orthodox or mainstream – economic theory, as well as their rejection of mainstream policies, in particular fiscal austerity and fine-tuning monetary policy, Lavoie and Seccareccia have shared a vision of a more real-world view of economics, where institutions mattered.
Louis-Philippe Rochon and Hassan Bougrine
Over a century ago, in an aptly-titled article, Innes (1913) asked what we believe is one of the most important questions in monetary theory: ‘What is money?’ – a question Smithin (1999) would later revisit. While on the surface this question may appear to be simple enough, the answer, however, is far from simple. Indeed, many answers have been provided, from a number of perspectives and disciplines. Money can mean something very different to different scholars, and the answers provided often reflect the focus of one’s research, thereby leading to different aspects of the same issue or question being explored in various degrees of detailed analysis. Indeed, money has many dimensions. The study of money has certainly perplexed economists for decades, if not centuries, with no consensus in sight. However, two general approaches can be identified, which, following Schumpeter (1954/1994, p. 277), can be labelled real and monetary analyses respectively (see also Rogers, 1989, Ch. 1) – although other labels can also be used: orthodox versus heterodox, exogenous versus endogenous. Rochon and Rossi (2013) have further identified two distinct approaches to endogenous money within post- Keynesian theory, referring to what they call the ‘evolutionary’ (Chick, 1986) and ‘revolutionary’ (Lavoie, 1992, 2014; Rochon, 1999) approaches to endogenous money.
At its core, the contemporary international system is based on the existence of and interaction between a set of territorially demarcated states (Agnew 1994). Within each of these territorially bounded spaces, the state – as a collection of centralised political institutions – is sovereign. This sovereignty within this internationally agreed geographic division is presumed to be mutually exclusive (Taylor 1995). Whilst the exclusivity of state territoriality has been increasingly challenged (see below), there can be little doubting that it remains a focal point within the operation of the contemporary international system. The desire of the state to sustain and maintain its territorial pre-eminence within its bounded space requires it to develop and implement territorial strategies that enable, enforce and/or legitimise its territoriality. This is suggestive that the primary objective of these territorial strategies is to enable territoriality through enhancing the welfare of its citizens via growth, improved security, socio-economic development, territorial cohesion, etc. (Taylor 1994). This emphasises – in the absence of coercion of its citizens – the link between territoriality and the legitimacy of the state as a territorial agent. Integral to this link is the process of infrastructuring. This is defined as the act of creating and maintaining a territorial infrastructure system where infrastructure is commonly defined as ‘built networks that enable flows over space’ (Larkin 2013, p.329), offering services that, at their core, are central to territorial functioning and to the operation of the agents within that space (Finger et al. 2005).