Faculty Wars

  • Ashwani Saith
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)


The Faculty Ajit joined in 1965 boasted a jostling pantheon of Cambridge greats. Rife with divisions, it was an arena of intellectual contestations and gladiatorial jousting, in a state of permanent revolution with continuous orthodox-versus-heterodox battles for controlling Faculty decision-making. Ajit was the linchpin for keeping the left/heterodox groups mobilised. The following 25 years constituted possibly the most volatile period of Cambridge economics. Despite their great history, formidable strength and diversity, these heterodox lineages atrophied and evanesced dramatically as Cambridge economics fell under the control of the orthodox mainstream camp. What explains this remarkable turnaround? How could the fertile, productive intellectual ecology of that great banyan tree of Cambridge heterodox traditions mutate so rapidly into an arid genetically modified mono-strain culture? How were relevant and radical imaginations and curiosities lobotomised? How could this powerhouse of fabled heterodox economists wind up losing the Faculty war? There are many answers but little consensus.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashwani Saith
    • 1
  1. 1.International Institute of Social StudiesErasmus University RotterdamThe HagueThe Netherlands

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