1. POLITICAL THEORY – Friedrich Hayek
FAST WORKERS COMPILATION #2
POLITICAL THEORY – Adam Smith
POLITICAL THEORY – John Maynard Keynes
POLITICAL THEORY – Karl Marx
Richard Posner, “How I Became a Keynesian”
This course examines questions of international political economy. The focus of the course is on the political struggles of economic life – including points of contention related to resource extraction, production/manufacture, distribution, and consumption. We will study the history of international political economic processes, the historical development of global inequality, political economic theories, and we will apply those theories to the problem of homelessness. We also read original texts like Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and parts of texts like Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, as well as learn about key theories of international political economy: liberalism, Marxism, Keynesianism, and anarcho-communism.
Students who successfully complete this course should be able to:
· Recognize and define basic concepts appropriate to international political economy, such as class politics, exploitation, unregulated market, liberalism, division of labor, reciprocity, and so on.
· Explain the basic history of the development of the world economy over the past 400 years that constitute the peripheral and core economies and their relationships of inequality that we observe today.
· Identify and describe key theories of international political economy: liberalism, Marxism, Keynesianism, and anarcho-communism.
· Apply the four key theories to a real-world problem (homelessness) in order to demonstrate your knowledge.
· Analyze the four theories by comparing and contrasting how they read the problem of homelessness differently.
Module 4: Using International Political Economic Theory to Explain the Homeless in front of Whole Foods
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We have read about four theories of international political economy. We have learned the history of the development of the world economy that manifests in global inequality. We’ve paid special attention to the ethical difficulties of living in the core of the world economy with economic margins all around us. Each theory covered in class allows us to see the inequality from different angles. Each theory offers different readings of the problems of inequality, like homelessness. The theories also offer different possible solutions or responses to the problem of homelessness. For example, Marx had very different ideas about how social classes should respond to unemployment and the precarity of labor compared to Smith’s ideas about how individuals should seek to be more competitive in the labor market and maximize individual wealth accumulation. Describe four theories of international political economy (liberalism, Marxism, Keynesianism, and anarcho-communism) and apply them to the problem of the homeless. Answer these questions: What are the basic ingredients of each theory? How does each theory uniquely read the problem of homelessness? What solutions to homelessness do you imagine each theory implies?
By the end of this module you will be able to:
Describe and apply four international political economic theories in regard to the problem of homelessness. The theories to consider are: liberalism, Marxism, Keynesianism, and anarcho-communism.
Imagine possible solutions to the problem of homelessness that each theory logically implies.
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List of Topics and Sub-Modules for Module 4: Using International Political Economic Theory to Explain the Homeless in front of Whole Foods
· Essay 4
For a final paper, you will write a comparative essay that applies the political economic theories we’ve learned over the quarter to an observable problem: the homeless in front of Whole Foods. This essay should be between 10-12 pages. The essay will take each theoretical lens we’ve covered in class and use that theory as a lens to explain the homeless. We’ve covered these four political economic theories: liberalism, Marxism, Keynesianism, anarcho-communism.
The observable referent that you will explain is the homeless who panhandle in front of Whole Foods. Think about what I mean here: A liberal explanation of the homeless will be very different than a Marxian explanation, for example. The Marxist would have a very different set of suggestions about what to do to address the problem of homelessness, compared to the liberal. This exercise is a chance to apply a political theory to an empirical problem, which will show your grasp of the theories.
Your essay should at the very least: DESCRIBE the problem of homelessness, DESCRIBE each theoretical lens, and then APPLY the theories to explain WHY the homeless are in their situation and then discuss the SOLUTIONS to the problem that is implicit within each political economic theory.