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In this introductory chapter, the aims and ambitions of the book are set out and explained.
Some optimistic heterodox economists felt that the effects of the global financial crisis might open the door for a new approach capable of providing a better understanding of how a monetary production economy works. However, this hope quickly evaporated as mainstream economists regained their confidence and the orthodox paradigm reasserted its ascendency, albeit in a slightly modified form. Three questions follow; first, how was mainstream economics able to maintain its hegemony? Second, is it nevertheless feasible that the mainstream paradigm could be challenged in the foreseeable future? Third, do heterodox economists have enough in common to work together as part of a coherent alternative approach? In a series of in-depth interviews with leading economists from different schools; Austrian, monetarist, New-Keynesian, Post-Keynesian, Modern Monetary Theory, Marxist, Sraffian and Institutionalist, as well as policy–makers, the book aims to shed light upon the behaviour of economists and the sociology of the economics profession by enabling economists to express their views on a wide range of issues. I hope to provide a stimulating resource for researchers who are interested in understanding the pre-suppositions that underpin the way key thinkers theorise and to reveal the opinions of key thinkers regarding the most important issues that the discipline might address going forward.