This course is currently at capacity. We are admitting students to the waitlist only.
*Online for Summer 2020* Between World War II and the election of Donald Trump, the world economy has undergone a number of crucial transformations. This course introduces students to the trends that have produced today’s political economic order and to useful conceptual tools such as "moral hazard," "tragedy of the commons,” “race to the bottom,” and “collective action problem." Its main argument is that problems in economics are inextricably tied up with politics and the distribution of various kinds of power. Special emphasis will be placed, therefore, on understanding the impact of deregulation on inequality, democracy, and the environment, and on investigating alternatives to the market arrangements that have produced many of the challenges we face today. We will read the work of historians, economists, journalists, and activists, and watch award-winning documentaries as we try to answer three questions: How did we get here? What are the costs of inaction? And what, if anything, can be done to make national economies more democratic and economic growth more sustainable? By the end of this course, students will have a greater appreciation for why the global political economy works the way it does and of the steps that will need to be taken to fix its many pathologies.
We will be devoting two class sessions to examining some of the vulnerabilities that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed in the American economic system. Geared for students who aim to take a deep dive into economics trends as it relates to history and politics. Students interested in the mathematical side of economics may want to check out Pathways in Economics or Economics from an Experimental Perspective. Students who want to explore world politics more broadly should consider Pathways in World Politics.
Current Grade / Education Level