2022 Essay Prize in Economics

What Contribution can Heterodox Economics Make to Addressing the Climate Emergency?

The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) and the Cambridge Journal of Economics (CJE) intend to award a prize of EUR 7,000 for the best essay on the theme, ‘What contribution can heterodox economics make to addressing the climate emergency?’ Authors are free to choose their topic and title within this wider theme.

Please read these details carefully before contacting the ISRF or the CJE with a query or submitting your essay for consideration.

Essays are invited which explore the potential contribution of any aspect(s) of heterodox economics, broadly construed, to addressing the climate emergency. Possible sub-topics include:

  • Ends. What should be the objectives of climate policy, and action more generally by states, institutions and individuals, in addressing the climate emergency? How should the values at stake be conceptualised? 
  • Means. Assuming some clear goals or objectives, how should these be pursued? How should we act in the face of economic, scientific, and political uncertainties?
  • Discourses and strategies. In addressing the climate emergency, how are our means and ends best described and framed? Are there tensions between well-justified ends which might emerge from ethical, political economic and scientific analysis, and the means available to us?

Essays could discuss theoretical issues in general terms, or focus on specific problems or practical strategies. 

If the scientific consensus is correct, we only have a few years before serious climate damage becomes irreversible. Therefore contributors who focus on long-term structural transformations of the economy, society, or economics, may also wish to discuss how to think and act given the urgency of the situation. 

The winning essay will be selected from submissions received in the submission window commencing 1st September 2021, closing at midnight on 30th September 2021.

The essay will be judged on its originality and independence of thought, its scholarly quality, its potential to challenge received ideas, and the success with which it matches the criteria of the ISRF and the CJE. The successful essay will be intellectually radical, orthogonal to existing debates, and articulate a strong internal critique across the fields of economic research. Its challenge to received ideas will have the potential to provoke a re-thinking of the topic.

The ISRF is interested in original research ideas that take new approaches and suggest new solutions to real world social problems. The full statement of the ISRF’s criteria and goals may be viewed here.

The CJE provides a forum for theoretical, applied, interdisciplinary, history of thought and methodological work, with strong emphasis on realistic analysis, the development of critical perspectives, the provision and use of empirical evidence, and the construction of policy. More detail about the Journal can be found on the Journal’s website.

The 2015 ISRF Essay Prize in Economics was awarded to Julie Nelson for her essay Husbandry: a (feminist) reclamation of masculine responsibility for care.

The submitted essays will be judged by an academic panel (the ISRF Essay Prize Committee) and the winner will be decided by unanimous vote. The panel’s decision will be final, and no assessments or comments will be made available. The result will be notified to applicants by email by the end of July 2022 and will then be announced by posting on the websites of  the ISRF and of the CJE. The ISRF and the CJE reserve the right not to award the prize, and no award will be made if the submitted essays are of insufficient merit.

Submissions should be made – within the submission window only – online at: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/cje

Queries: Telephone +44 (0) 20 7262 0196 or email essayprize2022@isrf.org

Essay Topic:‘What contribution can heterodox economics make to addressing the climate emergency?’ This is a topic, not a title. Accordingly, authors are free to choose an essay title within this field.
Essay Length:Approximately 7, 500 words.
Essay Format:Follow the CJE Author Guidelines, available on the CJE website.
Submission Window:1st September 2021 – 30th September 2021 (inclusive)