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The Ethical Foundations of Global Economic Policy

INTS 4374

This seminar course explores the contending ethical theories that underlay contemporary debates over global economic policymaking. We explore the ethical foundations of neoclassical, Austrian, institutionalist and Marxian and economic theory (including utilitarianism, welfarism, libertarianism and egalitarianism) in order to better understand why and how these diverse economic theories generate distinct policy prescriptions. For example, we examine the controversy over “free trade” versus “fair” trade that is now at the center of policy debate in the U.S. and across the globe, and explore the contending ethical theories that inform this debate. This is a reading intensive seminar. We examine central works of Amartya Sen, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, Michael Walzer, and other leading economists and political theorists.