Capitalism dominates the globe. Yet the term itself carries diverse meanings, encompassing a wide range of societies and differing relationships between economic, political, and civic institutions within them. One need only think of American, Chinese, and Scandinavian "capitalism" to find three examples whose differences can sometimes seem fundamental. Meanwhile, critiques of capitalism are becoming more and more prominent in the politics of both the left and the right and in heated public dialogues about inequality, community strength, corporate influence, financial instability, global cooperation, and unchecked consumerism.
In this environment, proposals abound to rethink both what "capitalism" can and should mean, and whether "capitalism" at all is the best route towards human prosperity. The University of Chicago is closely associated with one thread of this argument: the intellectual legacy of free-market capitalism laid out by influential thinkers such as Fredrick Hayek and Milton Friedman. But today, the University of Chicago is home to scholars of diverse and nuanced perspectives on the accomplishments, limitations, and future of capitalism.
The goal of this course is take advantage of that diverse expertise to equip Chicago Booth students with tools and perspectives that help them engage thoughtfully in these debates and extend them into application in their own roles as corporate, non-profit, or entrepreneurial leaders. The course will provide students with an unbiased survey of the economic, social, and intellectual history of capitalism, sparking active discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing capitalist economies today and what "capitalism" can and should mean going forward.
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Students interested in enrolling should submit an application request form to indicate their meeting time preference for the discussion seminar. The course is 100 units but will be broken up into two course numbers/enrollments.
- 33250 Perspectives on Capitalism (0 units): meets 90 minutes per week on Wednesdays from 6:00-7:30pm at Harper Center C-25; lecture format with speakers
- 33251 Perspectives on Capitalism Seminar (100 units): meets 90 minutes per week; small group discussion with required readings. Possible seminar times are as follows:
Monday 10:00-11:30am Harper
Wednesday 10:00-11:30am Harper
Wednesday 4:00-5:30pm Harper (just before guest lectures)
Wednesday 7:45-9:15pm Harper (just after guest lectures)
Thursday 10:00-11:30am Harper
Thursday 1:30-3:00pm Harper
Thursday 6:00-7:30pm Gleacher
Saturday 1:30-3:00pm Gleacher
This request form will remain open until Friday, February 18, 2022 at 5pm. Students will be emailed on Monday, February 21 with their results. After the initial selection and enrollment process is complete, if seats are available, information on late registration will be communicated. Direct all inquiries to BoothRegistrar@Lists.ChicagoBooth.edu.