West Long Branch, NJ - Monmouth University announced today that Nahid Aslanbeigui, professor of economics, and Guy Oakes, Jack T. Kvernland professor of philosophy and corporate social policy, received the 2010 Joseph J. Spengler best book award of the History of Economics Society for The Provocative Joan Robinson: The Making of a Cambridge Economist (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009).

Joan Robinson (1903-1983) is widely regarded as the most important woman in the history of economics. She studied economics at Cambridge University at a time when women could not receive degrees and yet made a career that spanned more than fifty years. When she returned to Cambridge in 1929, she was a faculty wife with an undistinguished undergraduate academic record and poor mathematical skills. By 1938, she had achieved an international reputation, established initially by her Economics of Imperfect Competition and cemented by her work with John Maynard Keynes. Aslanbeigui and Oakes examine how she executed this remarkable transformation.

In his published comments on the book, Duke University economist E. Roy Weintraub wrote: “This is a remarkable book. It is the first attempt of which I am aware to deal with the complexity of Joan Robinson’s contributions to Cambridge economics in the 1930s. Robinson is an iconic figure, and a series of legends—mostly created by Robinson herself in a complex process of personality and career formation—makes such a historical reconstruction necessary. ‘Necessary’ is the right word, since the entire history of what is now called macroeconomics, and a number of elements of the history of neoclassical economics in the pre-Second World War period, have been told from the perspective of Cambridge, England, by individuals engaged in defending the Cambridge tradition.”

Since its formal establishment in 1974, the History of Economics Society has committed itself to encouraging interest, fostering scholarship, and promoting discussion among scholars and professionals in the field of the history of economics. The Society is an international organization that publishes the Journal of the History of Economic Thought in conjunction with Cambridge University Press, sponsors an online collection of working papers under the name of The ERN History of Economics Journal, supports with other societies the SHOE email list hosted by York University (Canada), provides grants as part of the Samuels Young Scholars Program, and is a contributing partner to the Summer Institute for the Preservation of the History of Economics.

Aslanbeigui’s research areas are globalization, gender in development, and history of economics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals in economics, and she has published several edited books on these topics. She resides in Eatontown, NJ. Oakes does research in the history and philosophy of the social sciences and the sociology of ethics. His articles have appeared in a variety of scholarly journals in philosophy and the social sciences, and he has published books with several university presses, including Cambridge University Press, The MIT Press, Oxford University Press, University of Illinois Press, and Yale University Press.  He resides in Eatontown, NJ. Aslanbeigui and Oakes have collaborated in research over the last ten years. Their next book will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in London.

For additional information, please contact Petra Ludwig, director of public affairs, at 732-263-5507.