POLS-Y405: Politics, Philosophy, and Economics

POLS-Y405 — Spring 2022

Armando Razo
BH 015 Ballantine Hall
Days and Times
T 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
Course Description

Models and Theories of Political Decision Making: POLITICS, PHILOSOPHY, AND ECONOMICS This class teaches an integrative approach called Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) to examine societal challenges at all scales, ranging from global pandemics to more local concerns such as fixing public infrastructure, among many others. In terms of political analysis, this class combines positive and normative political theory to study collective choices in democratic settings. On the positive side, you will learn various models and theories of institutions and political decision making. On the normative side, you will learn that collective choices are also informed by guiding principles that require philosophical analysis of contestable notions of fairness and social justice. In turn, understanding competing values requires analysis of the nature and interaction of individual and collective behaviors. In fact, many social problems are caused by conflicts of interests between individuals and their societies, which invites a systematic economic analysis of incentives and relevant domains like markets. What is good for individuals might not be good for societies and vice versa, a pervasive situation that characterizes social dilemmas, one of many topics we will explore in this class. Other topics include debates about freedom versus equality, debates about markets versus states, how to design public policy that incentivizes desirable behaviors, and regulation of new technologies.