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The Moral Economy: A Belknap Global Conversation & Workshop

Keynote: Michael Sandel, Harvard

April 6, 2018April 7, 2018 · A17 Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building

Humanities Council
Image: A Village Revel by Jan Steen 1673 (The Royal Collection Trust)

The Humanities Council is pleased to host a Belknap Global Conversation & Workshop on the idea of the moral economy from the eighteenth century to the present, convened by Jeremy Adelman (History) and Samuel Moyn (Yale).

As part of a workshop to debate the ways in which moral economics and moral economists shadowed political economics, 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?

On Friday April 6 at 5:00 PM at 010 East Pyne,  Michael Sandel (Harvard) will deliver the keynote, introduced by Acting Council Chair Esther Schor, with responses by professor of economics and humanistic studies Marc Fleurbaey (Princeton) and Margaret Levi (CASBS-Stanford).

Sandel’s talk, entitled “Toward a Moral Economy:  Rescuing Economics from Economists,” explores whether economics is a value-neutral science of human behavior and social choice, or a branch of moral and political philosophy. Against the grain of mainstream economics, Sandel argues that market reasoning can be corrosive of moral norms and civic practices; he seeks to revive an older tradition of moral and political economy.

Friday April 6

10:15 AM – Welcome  

Jeremy Adelman  (Princeton)  and  Samuel Moyn (Yale)

10:30 AM -12:00 PM Panel 1:

Tim Rogan (Cambridge) on R H Tawney, Cambridge

Marion Fourcade (Berkeley) on Marcel Mauss

Commentator: Didier Fassin (Institute for Advanced Study)

[Lunch 12:00-1:00 PM]

1:00-2:30 PM Panel 2:

Rohit De (Yale) on the shadow of Tagore

Emilio Kourí (Chicago) on the Mexican ejido

Commentator: Julia Ott (New School)

[Break 2:30-3:00 PM]

3:00-4:30 PM Panel 3:

Margaret Somers (Michigan) on Polanyi

Samuel Moyn (Yale) on T.H. Marshall

Commentator: Daniel Rodgers (Princeton)

5:00-6:30 PM |  010 East Pyne

KEYNOTE: Michael Sandel (Harvard) on “Toward a Moral Economy:  Rescuing Economics from Economists”

Introduction: Esther Schor, Acting Chair, Princeton University Humanities Council

Comments by Marc Fleurbaey (Princeton) and Margaret Levi (CASBS-Stanford)

Saturday April 7

9:00-10:30 AM Panel 4:

Tim Shenk (Washington) on E P Thompson

Joel Isaac (Chicago) on James C Scott

Commentator: Nils Gilman (Berkeley)

[Break 10:30-11:00 AM]

11:30-1:00 PM Panel 5:

Francesca Trivellato (Yale) on early modern Europe

Abigail Kret (Princeton) on globalization 1970s/80s

Commentator: Carl Wennerlind (Barnard/Columbia)

[Lunch 1:00 PM]

The keynote will be streamed live at https://mediacentrallive.princeton.edu/

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