This course teaches basic concepts relevant in political economy. Topics include the contractual nature of the state, public versus private goods, property rights and economic externalities, the logic of collective action and social choice theory. It also refers to the fundamentals of political philosophy, bringing two ideas of liberty into the picture. The relevance and limitations of the economic approach to the study of law and politics are then discussed.
Philosopher and political economist John Stuart Mill laid several foundations for liberal thinking, amongst others with the harm principle: everyone should be given the individual freedom - and not be hindered by e.g. state intervention - to act as s/he wants as long as no other person is harmed by this action. A short insight in his book On Liberty.
Capitalism cannot fulfil the promises of the French revolution: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Why? Richard Wollf elaborates on Marx's analysis of the distribution and organisation of surplus in society and his conclusion that there is something inherently wrong in capitalist class structure that still causes economic crisis in our modern times. Change requires changing the organisation of the production. This goes far beyond a discussion of 'more-state' vs. 'less-state'.
This essay focuses on the sources of government revenue within the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and proposes the implementation of a regional tax reset through increased taxation and tax reforms, deregulation in the private sector and economic diversification to reduce macroeconomic volatilities caused by the hydrocarbon industry.
Politics as supermarket? Or how current policy design changes the relationship between the state and its citizens
What are the implications of the politics of "behavioural change"? Alexander Feldmann took a closer look for you on nudging and framing and if this is a legitimate instrument being used by the state to make us behave better in terms of our carbon footprint.
Austrian economics focuses on the economic coordination of individuals in a market economy. Austrian economics emphasises individualism, subjectivism, laissez-faire politics, uncertainty and the role of the entrepreneur, amongst others.
As seen with the United Nations significant promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the past few years, the issue of global development is of growing concern to many international organizations. As humanity continues to become more interconnected through globalization, the inequalities and injustices experienced by inhabitants of impacted countries becomes increasingly clear. While this issue can be observed in the papers of different types (e.g., different schools of thought) of economists throughout the world, the work of behavioral and complexity economists offer a unique, collaborative perspective on how to frame decisions for individuals in a way that can positively reverberate throughout society and throughout time.
By conducting a discourse analysis (SKAD) in the field of academic economics textbooks, this paper aims at reconstructing frames and identity options offered to undergraduate students relating to the questions ‘Why study economics?’ and ‘Who do I become by studying economics?’. The analysis showed three major frames and respective identity offerings, all of which are contextualized theoretically, with prominent reference to the Foucauldian reflection of the science of Political Economy. Surprisingly, none of them encourages the student to think critically, as could have been expected in a pedagogical context. Taken together, economics textbooks appear as a “total structure of actions brought to bear upon possible action” (Foucault), therefore, as a genuine example of Foucauldian power structures.
This course provides future change makers in public and private sectors with a comprehensive overview on the structures and actors that shape markets.
Economic theory must distinguish between publicly owned and privately owned property if it is to account for the effect of institutions on the behavior of individuals. Careful study of the theories of Marxists and the real-world experience in the Soviet economy offer important lessons and insight for economic modeling and the ongoing development of theory. In this course, Marxist/Leninist theory and Soviet reality will be studied with an open mind, and with the goal of taking lessons from the case study. To what extent was the Soviet economy an accurate expression of Marxist theory? If Marxism were tried somewhere else would the results be the same?
This syllabus provides an overview of the content of the Philosophy and Economics course at the University of Waterloo.