Robert Lepenies has recently published online a working paper entitled “Economists as Political Philosophers – A Critique of Normative Trade Theory“.
Abstract: Economists are political philosophers. This claim is defended based on an investigation of normative arguments made in economics textbooks. The paper aims to explain, reconstruct and contest the neoclassical vision implicit in mainstream economic trade theory. Analyzing arguments made by international economists from the perspective of political philosophy, I show how the contemporary defence of free markets and trade liberalization is linked to a specific normative ideal of the political and social good.
Keywords: Political Philosophy, Neoclassical Economics, Normative Trade Theory, Free Trade, Efficiency, Textbooks, Kaldor-Hicks, Neoclassical Vision.