Kirdina-Chandler, S. G. (2022). Economic Theory, Ideology, and Economic Interests. AlterEconomics, 19(1), 71-92. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2022.19-1.5.
The social significance of economic theory is widely discussed in Russia and in the world. The role of economic theory depends on the efforts of theoretical economists themselves as well as on the context of its development. Ideology and economic interests are important elements of this context. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to examine these elements and the relationship between economic theory, ideology and economic interests in Western countries, in China and the USSR by comparing neoclassical economic theory, “political economy with Chinese characteristics”, and political economy developed in the early Soviet period. Methodologically, the study relies on the methods of cross-country analysis, case study and biographical analysis. The study comprises three levels: individual, institutional, and societal. The individual level is represented by individual economists, more specifically, the focus will be made on Nikolai Kondratiev’s views and ideological preferences. The institutional level is represented by communities of economists working within common areas of interest. The societal level means that economic theory, ideology and economic interests are considered at the level of society as a whole. As a result of the study, similar patterns of development of neoclassical economic theory, Soviet political economy, and “political economy with Chinese characteristics” were identified. These similarities can be explained by the role of economic theory in society and the way economic knowledge is organized and functions. It was also shown that a mismatch between the development of economic theory, ideology and economic interests may have a negative impact. It was observed towards individual economists, what is shown in the example of Kondratiev, and specific areas of economic theory development in the period of Soviet political economy.