Junior Workshop 6:
Money and Political Theory
In this workshop we will explore the relation between money and politics. Money is one of the most defining social institutions of human societies and at the same time often seen as a source of moral and political corruption. In this workshop we will explore this ambivalence between money as “filthy lucre” and currency as a political institution. We will examine a number of classic works in the history of political thought, such as Aristotle, Plato, Locke, Rousseau, Smith, and Marx and enquire into their accounts of money and currency, but also wealth, commerce, and property. We will also consider a number of contemporary debates: Are there things that should never be for sale? Is money a form of speech? Does money corrupt politics? Who should conduct monetary policy? What are the political implications of electronic currencies? Should the international monetary system be reformed?
A broad range of research topics on money and political theory can be pursued in this workshop. Research questions can be historical, theoretical, or both. The workshop will help students to identify a research topic and prepare them to write a junior research paper in political theory and the history of political thought.