Course Outline and Detailed Reading Assignments

All required readings are to be completed by the first class session of each week. Recommended readings are listed separately and are intended to provide additional insights for students who wish to learn more than the required material. Unless there is a link, all readings are found in the required texts for this class. Please check the course website regularly for updates on the required readings for each week, and also be sure to review your email a least once a day in case of important course announcements.

Week 1 (9/3): Intro

  1. Introductions
  2. About this Course—Ethics, International Economics, and Globalization
  3. John Stuart Mill, selections from Utilitarianism

Week 2 (9/8-9/10): Ethical Theory—Utilitarianism & Theories of Justice

  1. John Rawls, selections from A Theory of Justice
  2. Robert Nozick, selections from Anarchy, State and Utopia

Week 3 (9/15-9/17): Political Economic Theories—Classical Liberal & Critical Economic Thought

  1. Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations [only Book I (Chapters 1 & 2: Division of labor), Book IV (Chapter 2: Trade restrictions) are required]
  2. David Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. [only the Preface and Chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 28, and 30]
  3. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto and “Chapter 21. Interest Bearing Capital,” “Chapter 52. Classes” Capital.

Week 4 (9/22-9/24): Ethical Theory—Applied Ethics: What is Fair? What is Right?

  1. Peter Singer, “The Right to be Rich or Poor”
  2. Michael Sandel, “The Procedural Republic and the Unencumbered Self”
  3. Amartya Sen, “Equality of What?”

Week 5 (9/29-10/1): Political Economic Theories—Keynesian, Neoliberal Economic Thought, & Beyond

  1. John Maynard Keynes, “Concluding Notes on the Social Philosophy Towards Which the General Theory Might Lead.”
  2. Friedrich Von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
  3. Thomas Piketty, “Introduction,” Capital in the 21st Century.
  4. Thomas Piketty, “Income and Output,” and “Two Worlds,” Capital in the 21st Century.
  5. Thomas Piketty, “A Global Tax on Capital”

Week 6 (10/6-10/8): Running the Global Economy: Trade, Commerce, & International Institutions

  1. Thomas D. Lairson and David Skidmore. “The Economics of International Political Economy,” International Political Economy: The Struggle for Power and Wealth, Thomson-Wadsworth, 3rd Edition, 2003.
  2. International Monetary Fund, Globalization: Threat or Opportunity? Issues Brief, 2000.


Week 7 (10/13-10/15): Globalization and Its Discontents

  1. Kevin Watkins, “Making Globalization Work for the Poor” (with a response by David Dollar and Aart Kraay)
  2. Joseph Stiglitz, “Do What We Did, Not What We Say”
  3. Paul Krugman, “In Praise of Cheap Labor”
  4. Benjamin Barber, “Jihad vs. MacWorld”
  5. Tina Rosenberg, “Globalization,” The New York Times, August 18, 2002.

Week 8 (10/20-10/22): Imperialism & Neo-colonialism 

  1. Dinesh D’Souza, “Two Cheers for Colonialism”
  2. Rudyard Kipling, “Lispeth”
  3. V.I. Lenin, “Imperialism”
  4. Clifford Bob, “Merchants of Morality”

Week 9 (10/27-10/29): Poverty & Inequality

  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, “The Economic Lives of the Poor”
  2. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, “So Close and Yet So Different” from Why Nations Fail
  3. Rebecca Mead, “Dressing for Lula”
  4. Peter Singer, “The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle”

Week 10 (11/3-11/5): Development Aid and Its Critics

  1. Overview Report of the United Nations “Millennium Project”
  2. Jeffrey Sachs, “Why Some Countries Fail to Thrive”
  3. William Easterly, “A Modest Proposal”
  4. Paul Collier, “Poverty Reduction in Africa”
  5. Muhammad Yunus, “The Grameen Bank”
  6. Aneel Karnani, “Employment, Not Microcredit, is the Solution”

Week 11 (11/10-11/12): Population and the Environment

  1. Thomas Malthus, “The Theory of Population”
  2. “United Nations Environment Programme,” from Global Environment Outlook
  3. Garrett Hardin, “Living on a Lifeboat”
  4. Peter Singer, “One Atmosphere”
  5. Vandana Shiva, “An Open Letter to Oxfam”
  6. Thomas DeGregori, “Shiva the Destroyer”

Week 12 (11/17-11/19): Gender

  1. The World Bank, from Engendering Development
  2. Susan Moller Okin, “Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?”
  3. Martha Nussbaum, “Adaptive Preference and Women’s Options”
  4. H.E. Baber, “Adaptive Preference”
  5. Isobel Coleman, “The Global Glass Ceiling: Why Empowering Women Is Good for Business,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2010.

Week 13 (11/24-11/26): Cultural Relativism and Its Critics 

  1. United Nations Declaration of Universal Human Rights
  2. Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, “Anthropologists, Cultural Relativism and Universal Rights”
  3. James Rachels, “The Challenge of Cultural Relativism”
  4. Carol J. Williams, “Price of Freedom, in Blood”
  5. Amartya Sen, “The Uses and Abuses of Multiculturalism: Chili and Liberty”

Week 14 (12/1-12/3): Labor and Exploitation

  1. Eric Schlosser, “The Most Dangerous Job,” in Fast Food Nation.
  2. David Barboza and Luise Story, “Dancing Elmo Smackdown,” The New York Times, July 26, 2007.
  3. Moises Naim, “Why Is Slavery Booming in the 21st Century” in Illicit.

 Week 15 (12/8-12/10): Immigration, Ethnicity, and Integration

  1. David Goodhart, “Too Diverse?”
  2. Robert D. Putnam, “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-First Century”
  3. Alexis Rawlinson, “The Manipulation of Ethnicity in Africa”
  4. Anthony Appiah and Amy Gutman, from Color Conscious: Race, Culture and Identity
  5. Jason Deparle, “Rich Countries/Poor People: Should We Globalize Labor Too?” The New York Times, June 10, 2007.

 Exam Week 16 (12/15-12/17): Final Papers Due

  1. Students will come to class on the exam date to hand in their papers.  [Monday (12/14) is the official last day of classes. The final exam date will be determined by the University exam calendar, and will take place by or before 12/22.]