Ertugrul Ahmet Tonak

Visiting Assistant Professor of Critical Social Thought
Ahmet Tonak
Contact Ertugrul Ahmet

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Ertugrul Ahmet Tonak
Franklin Patterson Hall 203

E. Ahmet Tonak, Visiting Assistant Professor of Critical Social Thought,  is the author and editor of several books, including Measuring the Wealth of Nations: The Political Economy of National Accounts (with A. Shaikh; CUP, 1994), Turkey in Transition: New Perspectives (edited with Irvin Schick; OUP, 1987) and Marxism and Classes (edited with S. Savran and K. Tanyılmaz).  Trained as a mechanical engineer at Istanbul Technical University, he earned an M.S. in applied mathematics and statistics from Stony Brook University and a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research.  Tonak taught for many years at Bard College at Simon’s RockIstanbul Bilgi University, Middle East Technical University, and Boğaziçi University.  Before joining Hampshire College, he was a visiting professor of economics at UMASS Amherst. He wrote for several Turkish dailies and contributed to, an alternative news portal in Turkey.


Recent and Upcoming Courses

  • This is an introductory microeconomics course. The objective of this course is to develop a critical comprehension of conventional microeconomic theory and its applications. By the end of the term, the student will have acquired a basic understanding of the main microeconomic topics, including analysis of the consumer behavior, the theory of the firm under different market conditions, the economics of labor market and the public sector. Conventional microeconomics courses are not usually interested in critically evaluating the applicability of their models to the real world economic problems. This course and its textbook, Microeconomics in Context, emphasize that a realistic economic analysis must take social, historical, environmental, and political context into consideration Keywords:Microeconomics,firms,consumers,labor,capitalism

  • The purpose of this course is to present an alternative approach to the accumulated wisdom of mainstream economic theory via the reading of Karl Marx's Capital. The course itself is a systematic exposition of the Marxian political economy with some attention to modern commentaries regarding its theoretical strength and relevance for our modern capitalist economies.Keywords:Economics, politics, Marx, political economy, capitalism

  • As recently as 250 years ago the world had a roughly equal level of development. Today, the richest country in the world has an average income level around 400 times that of the poorest. The course will grapple with the tension between global inequalities, economic development, and environmental justice. First we will explore contemporary debates in development economics, including development ethics, development theory and practice, and development critiques. Second, students will work in teams to research case studies of successful approaches to balancing the imperative for development, growth, and poverty reduction with the challenges of climate change. Keywords: Smith, Marx, Keynes, Economics, Neoclassical Theory

  • Political economy is the study of the economy and society through examining the intertwining of class, power, states and markets. This course introduces students to various schools of political economy including Marxist, Keynesian, feminist economics and theories of racial capitalism. We will study how these schools of thought offer both a critique as well as an alternative lens to mainstream economic theory through a critical pluralistic approach. We will use a political economy lens to study key contemporary economic and social challenges such as financial crisis, inequality, development in the global South and the covid-19 pandemic. Students will be expected to undertake an original research project applying course concepts to a topic of interest. Keywords: Smith; Marx; Keynes; Economics; Neoclassical Theory