This module contains writings in the major paradigms in social philosophy of analysis of relations among state, economy, and society, the study of which is often termed Political Economy. Through readings, lectures and discussion of original texts in political liberalism (both from the right and from the left), conservatism, Marxism, and communitarianism, we examine the fundamental assumptions on which our understanding of the economic world and our economic research are based.
Economists and social philosophers have proposed various ways of organizing an economy and formulating economic policy. Alternatives range from complete laissez faire to total government control, with most proposals falling in between these extremes with varying degrees of government intervention. This module includes but goes beyond the market/state dichotomy and looks at the role of intermediate organizations as a key to the functioning of a healthy economic society. It includes important texts of Locke, Burke, Marx and Engels, Henry George, Rawls, Nozick, McIntyre, Oakeshott, Walzer, Yates, Friedman, Okun, Reich, Schumacher, and a host of communitarian writers.