G. C. Harcourt
Not only did Geoff Harcourt (the man) turn 90 on 27 June 2021, Cambridge University Press is publishing a 50th anniversary edition of Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital (the book).
This website is a labour of love undertaken by family and friends to chronicle and celebrate a remarkable scholarly life well-lived. On top of his celebrated academic achievements (including the book), Geoff (the man) has been a proud and decorated Australian, an irrepressible community-builder, a wellspring of intellectual, social and personal generosity to innumerable (young and old) scholars, and a passionate advocate of progressive change.
We hope you will get an appreciation for, or be reminded of, how his work and life have helped, in his own words, “to make the world a better place for ordinary men and women, [and] to produce a more just and equitable society.”
Geoff passed away on 7 December 2021. See Remembering Geoff Harcourt, the beating heart of Australian economics.
His family wishes that this website continues, as a celebration of his life. If you wish to submit a remembrance or message to the family, click here.
For those who would like to give donations in honour of Geoff’s memory, please give to Medicin sans frontiers.
Geoff has been fortunate to have lived long enough to receive requests and opportunities for autobiographical sketches and first-person accounts of his history. Here is one introduction:
“In order to make sense of what I have tried to do in economics, or, more accurately, what I have tried to do as a teacher, researcher, ‘back room boy’ policy maker and political activist, I need to stress (apart, of course, from the generous support of university friends and colleagues wherever I have been working) the major influences on me: religion, politics, sport, and last (but not least), marriage and family life generally.”
You can see a selection of those “Harcourt on Harcourt” pieces here.
In Geoff’s own words, all of this has been possible because of his wife Joan’s (the woman) constant “love, selflessness and support” over 66 years of marriage.
As Geoff has spelt out many times, his vision is “to make the world a better place for ordinary men and women, to produce a more just and equitable society” (Harcourt, 1998). He does this not only as an economist but as a “natural bridgebuilder” working with communities across all walks of life. His sense of justice can be seen over the years in his passionate defense of human rights, peace movements and anti-racism as well as his sense of fair play and decency. His kindness, care and concern for others can be found in his open door policy for his students, his comradery to his colleagues in Adelaide, Cambridge and UNSW as well as on the football ground and cricket field. In this section we share photos and stories from the communities to which Geoff contributes, shapes and inspires.
According to Geoff, “Whatever I may have achieved in economics and other spheres would never have been possible without the extraordinarily generous love and support of Joan, of our four children, Wendy, Robert, Tim and Rebecca (and their partners), … grandchildren and a host of relatives scattered around Melbourne and Sydney. The life of a scholar as well as those of a political activist and sports person inevitably have selfish aspects to them and the persons concerned are crucially dependent on the selfless support of their loved ones. I have always received this in abundance, for which I am more grateful than I can express in words.”
With recent health challenges, Geoff and Joan have received invaluable care, support and contributions from each of their children.
For pictures and more, see Family.