Ethics, Politics, & Economics (EP&E)

* EP&E 212a, Classics Justice, Morality, and the StateMax Lewis

In this course, we critically explore classic theories of morality, justice, politics, and economics concerning how we each individually ought to live and how we ought to live together in a society. Our aim is not just to understand these theories and their implications, but to understand their strengths, limitations, and the important questions they leave open. To this end, we explore how some of the most influential thinkers in Western philosophy, politics, and economics answered the following questions, “How should we live?” “How can I be virtuous?” “What makes actions right or wrong?” “What is justice and what makes a society just?” “What makes a political system legitimate or authoritative?” “When, if ever, may we legitimately limit people’s freedoms?”, “Can a society protect both liberty and equality”, “How do we come to justly acquire and transfer property?”, “Is there is conflict between our capitalist society and our nature as humans?”, “How should we distribute resources, goods, and opportunities in society?” and so on.  SO
M 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 214a or b, Classics of Ethics, Politics and EconomicsKevin Elliott

This course is designed to explore the moral and theoretical foundations, critiques, and open questions surrounding the social organization of production and governance in modern societies. A key aim of this class is to better understand the moral and philosophical background of market-based distribution, criticisms of it, and how thinkers have tried to make sense of it.  HU, SO

* EP&E 216b, Classics of EPE: African-American PerspectivesGregory Collins

The purpose of this course is to examine the interdisciplinary subjects of ethics, politics, and economics through the lens of African-American thought and to grasp how African-American thinkers have deepened our understanding of the interaction between race and socioeconomic debates and controversies throughout U.S. history. Far from being a univocal tradition, African-American thought encompasses a rich variety of intellectual perspectives that have critically assessed the impact of slavery, education, capitalism, and religion, among a number of topics, on African-Americans. While the study of American racial relations can include a wide range of topics, our thematic focus remains on the ethical, political, sociological, and economic dimensions of African-American experiences from the eighteenth century to the present day. This inquiry further prompts us to reflect on the various conceptions of liberty, justice, and equality that have informed the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution and that lie at the core of intellectual discussion over race in American history.  HU

* EP&E 217a, Classics of EP&E–Intellectual Origins of Liberalism and ConservatismGregory Collins

The purpose of this course is to explore the intellectual origins of liberalism and conservatism through an EP&E framework. We discuss the tensions between collective wisdom and individual reason in the early modern period and survey the thought of thinkers in the proto-liberal and proto-conservative traditions, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke on sovereignty, individual autonomy, reason, and toleration; and Robert Filmer, Richard Hooker, and David Hume on order, custom, and utility. Our main object of inquiry, however, is the intellectual division that emerged between supporters and critics of the French Revolution, the historical event that prompted the modern political identities of liberalism and conservatism. Accordingly, we examine the political, moral, and economic theories of the Revolution; reactions to the Revolution from Edmund Burke, Joseph de Maistre, and other counterrevolutionaries; critical responses to their reactions, including those from Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and James Mackintosh; and the impact of this debate on the evolution of liberalism and conservatism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Europe and the United States. Class discussions and readings confront liberal and conservative perspectives on human nature; reason; freedom; tradition; individual rights; religion; the Enlightenment; market economies; democratic participation; and equality. 
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 234a, Contemporary Moral and Social Controversies: Freedom, Autonomy, Well-BeingMax Lewis

We are living in a time of moral turmoil. Not only have legal rights we took for granted been overturned (e.g., the right to abortion), but we seem more polarized than ever. In this course, we take a careful and sober look at some of the moral and social controversies that constitute this state of turmoil and polarization. At the heart of the course are debates concerning conflicts between the following rights and values that people in liberal democracies see as sacrosanct, e.g., autonomy (e.g., bodily autonomy), freedom (e.g., free speech and freedom of association), harm prevention, the right to life, and well being. We start by exploring the fundamental theories in morality (e.g., Consequentialism, Deontology, and Rights Theory) and well-being (e.g., Hedonism, Desire-satisfaction, and Objective List views). We then use these theories to critically analyze particular moral and social controversies. In particular, we explore how these theories answer the following questions, “Is abortion morally permissible?”, “Is euthanasia morally wrong?”, “Should there be limits on free speech? If so, when?”, “Should there be limits on what can be bought and sold?”, “Can the state be justified in interfering with who gets to parent children?”, “How open should state borders be?”, “What do we owe the global poor?”  SO
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* EP&E 239a / PLSC 239a, Political RepresentationAmir Fairdosi

The notion of political representation lies at the center of government in the United States and much of the rest of the world. In this course, we examine the features of political representation, both in theory and practice. We ask (and possibly find ourselves struggling to answer!) such questions as: What is political representation? Should we have a representative system as opposed to something else like monarchy or direct democracy? Should representatives demographically resemble those they represent, or is that not necessary? How do things like congressional redistricting, electoral competition, and term limits affect the quality of representation? Do constituents’ preferences actually translate into policy in the United States, and if so, how? In Part I of this course, we discuss the theoretical foundations upon which representative government rests. In Part II, we move beyond theories of representation and on to the way political representation actually operates in the United States. In Part III, we move beyond the ways in which representation works and focus instead on some ways in which it doesn’t work. Proposed solutions are also explored.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 244a / ECON 449a / PLSC 374a, The Economic Analysis of ConflictGerard Padro

In this course we apply microeconomic techniques, theoretical and empirical, to the analysis of internal violent conflict, including civil wars, terrorism and insurgencies, its causes and consequences. Topics include forced migration, ethnic conflict, long-term consequences of war and individual choices to participate in violence. Readings comprise frontier research papers and students will learn to critically engage with cutting-edge research designs. Prerequisites: Intermediate econometrics  SO
W 9:25am-11:15am

* EP&E 246a / PLSC 330a, Participatory DemocracyAmir Fairdosi

What does democracy look like without elections? In this class, we discuss the theory and practice of “participatory” forms of democracy (i.e. those that allow and encourage citizens to influence policy directly, rather than indirectly through elected representatives).  SO
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 248b / AFAM 177b / PLSC 256b, American Political InstitutionsMichael Fotos

The origins and development of American political institutions, especially in relation to constitutional choice and the agency of persons seeking freedom, equality, and self-governing capabilities as a driver of constitutional change. Key concepts include: American federalism, compound republic, citizenship, social movements, racial justice, and nonviolence.  WR, SO

* EP&E 250a / PLSC 354a, The European UnionDavid Cameron

Origins and development of the European Community and Union over the past fifty years; ways in which the often-conflicting ambitions of its member states have shaped the EU; relations between member states and the EU's supranational institutions and politics; and economic, political, and geopolitical challenges.  SO
Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EP&E 254b, The Ethics of WorkMax Lewis

Work structures our daily existence. If we are not getting ready for work, we’re on our way to work, or we’re heading home from work. All the while, we’re trying to find a “work-life balance.” Most of us spend at least half of our waking lives working. In fact, one primary reason that we go to college is so that we can get a “good job.” But why do we want to work? Does working provide goods (other than money)? Are there goods unique to work? Can work be a source of meaning in our lives? Is there anything inherently bad about working or are the ways work is currently structured bad? Do we have a right to work? Do we have a duty to work? Should power structures at workplaces match those of a country (e.g., be democratic)? Would it be preferable to severely reduce work hours or completely eliminate work? Should we use technology to automate not only jobs but also housework and errands? These are some of the questions we address as we consider the ethics of work through classical texts in ethics, politics, and economics (e.g., by Aristotle, Locke, Smith, Marx, etc.) and modern debates in ethics and politics.  SO

* EP&E 255b, Morality and RelationshipsMax Lewis

This course explores the nuances of two kinds of relationships: interpersonal relationships and normative relationships. The course starts with foundational work in relational ethics which connects ethics with moral accountability, e.g., moral demands, claims, blame, apology, forgiveness, etc. With a grasp of these views in place, we turn toward the morality of interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal relationships are a central part of our lives. As social creatures, they are essential for our well-being and the meaningfulness of our lives. But they raise important moral questions. For example, do we have special obligations to our friends, family, or co-national? Are we epistemically permitted to ignore evidence if it indicates that our friend or family has done something wrong? Is there a conflict between what morality requires and what is required for being a good friend or family member? What’s wrong or bad about being friends with an immoral person? We also explore psychological and moral aspects of these relationships, e.g., what does loving a person consist of? What reasons do we have to love others? Do we owe our loved ones debts of gratitude?  SO

* EP&E 256b / ANTH 307b, Reparation, Repair, Reconciliation: Reckoning with Slavery and Colonialism in Global PerspectiveYukiko Koga

Imperial reckoning for slavery, imperialism, and colonialism has gained new momentum in recent years, from official apologies for colonial violence to reparations lawsuits filed in Asia, Europe, and the US for slavery, genocide, and massacres, to demands for the return of bodily remains and cultural artifacts from established cultural institutions. This seminar explores how these new attempts for belated imperial reckoning are reshaping relations between former empires and their ex-colonies. It approaches imperial reckoning as a site for redressing not only the original violence but also the transitional injustice incurred in the process of the unmaking of empire, which calls for post-imperial reckoning. Drawing on examples from recent cases, this course explores what it means to belatedly reckon with imperial violence today. What does it mean to reckon with imperial violence through legal means, decades after the dissolution of empires? What is the role of law in belated redress? How is historical responsibility articulated and by whom? Who is responsible for what, then and now? What are the stakes in reckoning with distant, yet still alive, pasts? Why and how does it matter today for those of us who have no direct experience of imperial violence? This course approaches these questions through an anthropological exploration of concepts such as debt, gift, moral economy, structural violence, complicity and implication, and abandonment. Instructor permission required.  HU, SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 286a / ECON 426a, Discrimination in Law, Theory, and PracticeGerald Jaynes

How law and economic theory define and conceptualize economic discrimination; whether economic models adequately describe behaviors of discriminators as documented in court cases and government hearings; the extent to which economic theory and econometric techniques aid our understanding of actual marketplace discrimination. This course was formerly listed as ECON 475. Prerequisites: introductory microeconomics and at least one additional course in Economics, African American Studies, Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, or Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
TTh 2:30pm-3:45pm

EP&E 295a / PLSC 344a, Game Theory and Political ScienceStaff

Introduction to game theory—a method by which strategic interactions among individuals and groups in society are mathematically modeled—and its applications to political science. Concepts employed by game theorists, such as Nash equilibrium, subgame perfect equilibrium, and perfect Bayesian equilibrium. Problems of cooperation, time-consistency, signaling, and reputation formation. Political applications include candidate competition, policy making, political bargaining, and international conflict. No prerequisites other than high school algebra. Political Science majors who take this course may not count ECON 159 toward the major.  QR, SO0 Course cr

* EP&E 297b / ECON 471b, Topics in Cooperative Game TheoryPradeep Dubey

The theory and applications of cooperative games. Topics include matching, bargaining, cost allocation, market games, voting games, and games on networks. Prerequisite: intermediate microeconomics.
F 9:25am-11:15am

* EP&E 299a / GLBL 299a / PLSC 332a, Philosophy of Science for the Study of PoliticsIan Shapiro

An examination of the philosophy of science from the perspective of the study of politics. Particular attention to the ways in which assumptions about science influence models of political behavior, the methods adopted to study that behavior, and the relations between science and democracy. Readings include works by both classic and contemporary authors.  SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 300b, Capitalism and its Critics: Foundational Thinkers of Business EthicsGregory Collins

The question of whether capitalism is moral may seem like a recent debate, but its roots are grounded in the wisdom of philosophers and economists spanning back to classical antiquity who have reflected on the ethical implications of market activities. The purpose of this course is to critically examine these thinkers’ understanding of the connection between markets and morals and grasp how they have built the intellectual foundation of the modern business ethics discipline. We address the thinkers’ perspectives on the ethical, social, historical, and religious dimensions of property rights, profit, money, free trade, and shareholder and stakeholder theories of corporate management, among a variety of topics. We also explore deeper philosophical dilemmas about the relation between market exchange and conceptions of human nature, equality, liberty, the common good, commodification, social and economic complexity, justice, and reason and its limits.  SO

* EP&E 305a / AFST 366a / HIST 367a / PLSC 364a, Bureaucracy in Africa: Revolution, Genocide, and ApartheidJonny Steinberg

A study of three major episodes in modern African history characterized by ambitious projects of bureaucratically driven change—apartheid and its aftermath, Rwanda’s genocide and post-genocide reconstruction, and Ethiopia’s revolution and its long aftermath. Examination of Weber’s theory bureaucracy, Scott’s thesis on high modernism, Bierschenk’s attempts to place African states in global bureaucratic history. Overarching theme is the place of bureaucratic ambitions and capacities in shaping African trajectories.
Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 306a / PLSC 228a, First Amendment and Ethics of LawKaren Goodrow

This course addresses the First Amendment and freedom of speech, focusing on the ethical implications of restrictions on free speech, as well as the exercise of free speech. Course topics and discussions include the “fighting words” doctrine, hate speech, true threats, content regulated speech, freedom of speech and the internet, and the so-called “right to be forgotten.” By the end of the course, students recognize the role free speech plays in society, including its negative and positive impacts on various segments of society. Students also have an understanding of the competing interests arising from the First Amendment’s right to free speech, and can analyze how these competing interests are weighed and measured in the United States as compared with other countries.  SO
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 313a / ECON 209a, Economic Analysis of LawRobin Landis

This course is intended to provide an introduction to the economic analysis of law. We examine the economic rationale(s) underlying various legal doctrines of both common law and statutory law, as well as the economic consequences of different legal doctrines. Previous coursework in economics, while helpful, is not a prerequisite for the course.  SO
T 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EP&E 318b, Healthcare Business Ethics: The Moral Political Economy of HealthcareXimena Benavides Reverditto

This course explores the intersections between the ethics, politics, and economics of the U.S. health sector. By adopting a critical thinking approach, we aim to explore how policy choices—and the laws in which they instrumentalize—have shaped the health sector to advance or prevent access to quality living conditions and medical services. This includes examining the power dynamics among the market’s stakeholders (e.g., clinicians, patients, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical industry, among others), reflecting on the factors that limit, ossify, or exacerbate their power, and questioning how power misallocations and imbalances may be promoted via policy choices from both public and private institutions. The core query is whether efficiency and equity can co-govern health institutions rather than one exclude the other. Our goal is to study the subject from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. Throughout the course, we engage with multidisciplinary scholarship from public health, economics, sociology, history, law and political science champions and critics of health policy decisions and learn from advocates about the initiatives and strategies that can be used to address the moral and political problems of health policies.   Please see attached syllabus.

* EP&E 325b / PLSC 304b, Business Ethics and LawRobin Landis

This seminar is intended to provide frameworks for the analysis of ethical issues that may arise in the context of business decisions, including such aspects as the role of ethics, competing values and interests, and tools for making principled decisions. The course also covers, as appropriate, some aspects of law as they relate to business ethics. Previous courses in philosophy and ethics may be helpful.  SO

* EP&E 328a / PLSC 347a / S&DS 172a, YData: Data Science for Political CampaignsJoshua Kalla

Political campaigns have become increasingly data driven. Data science is used to inform where campaigns compete, which messages they use, how they deliver them, and among which voters. In this course, we explore how data science is being used to design winning campaigns. Students gain an understanding of what data is available to campaigns, how campaigns use this data to identify supporters, and the use of experiments in campaigns. This course provides students with an introduction to political campaigns, an introduction to data science tools necessary for studying politics, and opportunities to practice the data science skills presented in S&DS 123, YData.
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 334b / PHIL 455b, Normative EthicsShelly Kagan

A systematic examination of normative ethics, the part of moral philosophy that attempts to articulate and defend the basic principles of morality. The course surveys and explores some of the main normative factors relevant in determining the moral status of a given act or policy (features that help make a given act right or wrong). Brief consideration of some of the main views about the foundations of normative ethics (the ultimate basis or ground for the various moral principles). Prerequisite: a course in moral philosophy.  HU
W 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 336a / PLSC 258a / PLSC 841a, Democracy and BureaucracyIan Turner

Exploration of what government agencies do and why; focus on issues of accountability and the role of bureaucracy in representative democracy. Understanding how bureaucracy works internally and how it is affected by interactions with other political actors and institutions.  SO
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 356a, Constitutional Law and Business EthicsGregory Collins

The purpose of this course is to explore how the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court case law have had an impact on business and commercial activities throughout U.S. history. We first identify provisions of the Constitution that relate to economics and familiarize ourselves with methods of constitutional interpretation, including originalism and living constitutionalism. We then apply this guiding framework to our analysis of key Supreme Court cases that have addressed the Commerce Clause, the Takings Clause, the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and a number of other constitutional provisions that relate to commercial exchange and the legal status of corporations. Additional concepts we discuss include the countermajoritarian difficulty, the rational basis test, strict scrutiny, substantive due process, fundamental rights, disparate impact, public accommodations law, antidiscrimination law, and antitrust law. The guiding question we confront is whether the courts should a.) defer to legislatures in regulating business actors; or b.) overturn democratically enacted laws to protect the economic liberties of individuals.  Prerequisite: Familiarity with major theories in the business ethics discipline (virtue ethics, deontological ethics, utilitarianism, natural rights theory) and the U.S. Constitution.
T 1:30pm-3:20pm

* EP&E 371b, Law, Ethics and Criminal Justice: Policing in America, Accountability and ReformsKaren Goodrow

This course examines the history of policing in America and the role of systemic bias on arrests and prosecutions, including wrongful convictions. The course explores police accountability efforts and the doctrine of qualified immunity, which has historically protected police from allegations of misconduct. By the end of the course, students are able to recognize the factors which contribute to arrests and police misconduct, and to recognize the role bias plays in criminal prosecutions and wrongful convictions. Students also develop an understanding of how society’s conflicting views on policing influence efforts at police reform and accountability.  SO

* EP&E 372a / HUMS 263a / PLSC 329a, ThucydidesDaniel Schillinger

In this seminar, we undertake a careful examination of Thucydides' so-called History of the Peloponnesian War in its entirety. Central problems include the psychological and structural causes of war, the relation of justice to necessity, the susceptibility of democracy to imperialism and demagoguery, and the experience of war itself. We also engage with the secondary literature on Thucydides.   WR, HU
M 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EP&E 375a / HUMS 158a / PLSC 340a, LiberalismMordechai Levy-Eichel

What is liberalism? And why do arguments about it stand at the epicenter of our political life? Is it a political idea, or is it a philosophy that tries to carve out a space apart from high politics? Is it about rights, or about equality? Is it about freedom and liberty, or laws and regulations? Is it ancient? Is it modern? Can we even define what liberalism means, or does the attempt to do so in some way even miss the point? This class is a historical, philosophical, and political examination of one of the most important and contested ideas in the modern world. We read both critics and advocates of liberalism. We also examine it historically, sociologically, and comparatively, in order to gain a better sense of what it means in practice, and how it differs from the arguments of both its most strong supporters and defenders, and its critics. Special attention is paid to the development of the ethos and examples of liberalism. This course is also a meditation on how to study politics and political theory. What does liberalism mean, and how should we examine it? Where did it come from, and how has it changed over time?  SO

* EP&E 380b / PLSC 313b, Bioethics, Politics, and EconomicsStephen Latham

Ethical, political, and economic aspects of a number of contemporary issues in biomedical ethics. Topics include abortion, assisted reproduction, end-of-life care, research on human subjects, and stem cell research.  SO

* EP&E 390a / EVST 212a / PLSC 212a, Democracy and SustainabilityMichael Fotos

Democracy, liberty, and the sustainable use of natural resources. Concepts include institutional analysis, democratic consent, property rights, market failure, and common pool resources. Topics of policy substance are related to human use of the environment and to U.S. and global political institutions.  WR, SO
Th 9:25am-11:15am

* EP&E 421b / PLSC 320b, Ethics, Law, and Current IssuesKaren Goodrow

Examination of how freedom of speech and bias influence the criminal justice system, focusing on wrongful convictions and administration of the death penalty. Understanding the role of potential bias at various levels and the competing interests of protecting speech, due process, and the innocent. Topics include limitations on speech, practical effects of speech, the efficacy of the death penalty, actual innocence, gender/race/economic bias and its effects on the justice system, as well as best practices for improving our sense of justice.

* EP&E 471a or b, Directed Reading and ResearchSarah Khan

For individual reading and research unrelated to the senior essay. Students must obtain the signature of the faculty member supervising their independent work on an Independent Study Form (available from the Ethics, Politics, and Economics registrar's office). This form must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies at the time the student's class schedule is submitted.

* EP&E 478b / PHIL 450b, The Problem of EvilKeith DeRose

The challenge that evil's existence in the world poses for belief in a perfectly good and omnipotent God. The main formulations of the problem of evil; proposed ways of solving or mitigating the problem and criticism of those solutions. Skeptical theism, the free-will defense, soul-making theodicies, and doctrines of hell.  HU
W 3:30pm-5:20pm

* EP&E 491a or b, The Senior EssaySarah Khan

A one-term senior essay. The essay should fall within the student's area of concentration. If no appropriate seminar is offered in which the essay might be written, the student, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, should choose an appropriate member of the faculty to supervise the senior essay. Students must obtain the signature of the faculty member supervising their independent work on an Independent Study Form (available from the Ethics, Politics, and Economics registrar's office). This form must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies at the time the student's class schedule is submitted.

* EP&E 492a or b and EP&E 493a or b, The Yearlong Senior EssaySarah Khan

A two-term senior essay. The essay should fall within the student's area of concentration. The student, in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies, should choose an appropriate member of the faculty to supervise the senior essay. Students must obtain the signature of the faculty member supervising their independent work on an Independent Study Form (available from the Ethics, Politics, and Economics registrar's office). This form must be submitted to the director of undergraduate studies at the time the student's class schedule is submitted.