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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
political economy
▪ If our political economy remains backward, our intellectual economy has leaped ahead.
▪ In this sense, Keynes's General Theory may well be regarded as self-defeating in terms of its impact on political economy.
▪ The absence of competition in the command political economy can result in problems as serious as those from excessive competition.
▪ The other major system of political economy prevailing in the world today is socialism.
▪ This combination of politics and economics is called political economy.
▪ Very recently, however, there have emerged important signs of a change within those working within a political economy perspective.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Political economy

Political \Po*lit"i*cal\, a.

  1. Having, or conforming to, a settled system of administration. [R.] ``A political government.''

  2. Of or pertaining to public policy, or to politics; relating to affairs of state or administration; as, a political writer. ``The political state of Europe.''

  3. Of or pertaining to a party, or to parties, in the state; as, his political relations were with the Whigs.

  4. Politic; wise; also, artful. [Obs.]

    Political economy, that branch of political science or philosophy which treats of the sources, and methods of production and preservation, of the material wealth and prosperity of nations.

Political economy

economy \e*con"o*my\ ([-e]*k[o^]n"[-o]*m[y^]), n.; pl. Economies ([-e]*k[o^]n"[-o]*m[i^]z). [F. ['e]conomie, L. oeconomia household management, fr. Gr. o'ikonomi`a, fr. o'ikono`mos one managing a household; o'i^kos house (akin to L. vicus village, E. vicinity) + no`mos usage, law, rule, fr. ne`mein to distribute, manage. See Vicinity, Nomad.]

  1. The management of domestic affairs; the regulation and government of household matters; especially as they concern expense or disbursement; as, a careful economy.

    Himself busy in charge of the household economies.

  2. Orderly arrangement and management of the internal affairs of a state or of any establishment kept up by production and consumption; esp., such management as directly concerns wealth; as, political economy.

  3. The system of rules and regulations by which anything is managed; orderly system of regulating the distribution and uses of parts, conceived as the result of wise and economical adaptation in the author, whether human or divine; as, the animal or vegetable economy; the economy of a poem; the Jewish economy.

    The position which they [the verb and adjective] hold in the general economy of language.

    In the Greek poets, as also in Plautus, we shall see the economy . . . of poems better observed than in Terence.
    --B. Jonson.

    The Jews already had a Sabbath, which, as citizens and subjects of that economy, they were obliged to keep.

  4. Thrifty and frugal housekeeping; management without loss or waste; frugality in expenditure; prudence and disposition to save; as, a housekeeper accustomed to economy but not to parsimony.

    Political economy. See under Political.

    Syn: Economy, Frugality, Parsimony. Economy avoids all waste and extravagance, and applies money to the best advantage; frugality cuts off indulgences, and proceeds on a system of saving. The latter conveys the idea of not using or spending superfluously, and is opposed to lavishness or profusion. Frugality is usually applied to matters of consumption, and commonly points to simplicity of manners; parsimony is frugality carried to an extreme, involving meanness of spirit, and a sordid mode of living. Economy is a virtue, and parsimony a vice.

    I have no other notion of economy than that it is the parent to liberty and ease.

    The father was more given to frugality, and the son to riotousness [luxuriousness].
    --Golding. [1913 Webster] ||

political economy

n. (context economics English) Interdisciplinary studies drawing upon economics, law, and political science in explaining how political institutions, the political environment, and the economic system — capitalist, socialist, mixed — influence each other.

political economy

n. the branch of social science that deals with the production and distribution and consumption of goods and services and their management [syn: economics, economic science]

Political economy

Political economy is a term used for studying production and trade, and their relations with law, custom, and government, as well as with the distribution of national income and wealth. Political economy originated in moral philosophy. It was developed in the 18th century as the study of the economies of states, or polities, hence the term political economy.

In the late 19th century, the term economics came to replace political economy, coinciding with the publication of an influential textbook by Alfred Marshall in 1890. Earlier, William Stanley Jevons, a proponent of mathematical methods applied to the subject, advocated economics for brevity and with the hope of the term becoming "the recognised name of a science."

Today, political economy, where it is not used as a synonym for economics, may refer to very different things, including Marxian analysis, applied public-choice approaches emanating from the Chicago school and the Virginia school, or simply the advice given by economists to the government or public on general economic policy or on specific proposals. A rapidly growing mainstream literature from the 1970s has expanded beyond the model of economic policy in which planners maximize utility of a representative individual toward examining how political forces affect the choice of economic policies, especially as to distributional conflicts and political institutions. It is available as an area of study in certain colleges and universities.