On April 6-7, 2018, Jeremy Adelman (History) and Samuel Moyn (Yale) will convene a workshop on the idea of the moral economy from the eighteenth century to the present. Their aim is to consider and to debate the ways in which moral economics and moral economists shadowed political economics.
Offered under the auspices of the Humanities Council’s new program of Belknap Global Conversations, this workshop will engage a cross-disciplinary audience from approaches that are practice-based as well as scholarly, and will feature visitors whose work has global reach.
Participants will explore the ways in which moral economics offered a critical vocabulary, alternative histories, and political counterpoints to mainstream thinking about what Karl Polanyi called “market society.” By examining key moments and key figures, from Adam Smith to Marcel Mauss, from Rabindranath Tagore to James C. Scott, the goal is to outline a broad tradition of thought that has framed scholarship and public discourse about modern economic life. In recent years, the popularity of histories of capitalism, and the debate about globalization and late neoliberalism, have brought new attention to the vintage concept. How has the idea of moral economy offered keys to rethink human interdependence in more than market ways? What are the concept’s histories?
Revised papers for the symposium will be published in a forthcoming issue of Humanity.
Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government. He teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His writings—on justice, ethics, democracy, and marketss—have been translated into 27 languages. His course “Justice” is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where Sandel was named the “most influential foreign figure of the year” (China Newsweek).