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Dr Miriam Bankovsky Senior Lecturer, Politics

Miriam Bankovsky is a Senior Lecturer and director of the Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics. She received the 2017 Australasian Association of Philosophy’s Annette Baier Prize for her work on economic envy.

She is now writing a book manuscript provisionally entitled The Family, Economics and Ethics: An Unorthodox History, following the completion of her Australian Research Council DECRA fellowship. This book tells an as yet untold story about how mainstream economists have historically conceptualised the family's role in the economy in ways that reflected a desire to make families more accountable for their own economic behaviour. Whereas the late nineteenth century economists (including Alfred Marshall, Jevons, the French Spiritualists, Walras and Pareto) sought to resolve the "social question" by explaining how families might improve their extra-familial contributions to industrial production, the female consumer economists of the first half of the twentieth century sought, instead, to rationalise the family's consumption, with Hazel Kyrk, Elizabeth Hoyt and Margaret Reid articulating the "standards of living" that families were meant to achieve. Then, in the second half of the twentieth century, the New Household Economists made the behaviour of families and their members a function of rational choice, while also slipping inadvertantly into an initially heteronormative view that families are better off when they make specific types of choices. Miriam's history thus counters the accepted wisdom, because she shows that, when it comes to the family, mainstream economists have not been able to maintain their agnosticism about questions of social good.

Before this, Miriam completed a a French-Australian Cotutelle PhD in philosophy on competing conceptions of justice within a broadly Kantian tradition, publishing Perfecting Justice in Rawls, Habermas and Honneth: A Deconstructive Perspective (Hardback Continuum 2012, Paperback Bloomsbury 2013), and two collections (co-edited with Dr Alice Le Goff, University of Paris V) on recognition theory and contemporary French philosophy (Manchester UP 2012, and CNRS Editions Alpha, Paris 2012).

With these pluralist but overlapping interests, she has published in journals affiliated with very different disciplines and sub-disciplines, including Cambridge Journal of Economics, History of Political Economy, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Philosophy & Social Criticism, Philosophy Today, and the Australian Journal of Political Science.


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