In the 20th century, the economics discipline has become entrenched in a narrow mainstream version of the discipline, effectively eliminating all other perspectives on the central topics of economics.
This development is regrettable in itself, because as a social science, pluralism (a diversity of views and perspectives) is essential for the discipline to thrive. However, the uniformity of economics has other, arguably even more important effects. Students and academics in the field are not sufficiently encouraged to be critical of the theories they learn and to question the underlying assumptions, and economic policy is guided by a social science that is not based on open, critical debate, but on the perpetuation of mainstream, quasi-dogmatic tenets and assumptions. Because of these reasons, societal and ecological challenges of the 21st century cannot be addressed appropriately.
Pluralism in economics entails firstly that the many different existing branches receive attention and consideration, and secondly that economics is more closely linked to other related disciplines such as philosophy, history, sociology, psychology and political science.