Junior Workshop 7:
Money and Political Theory
This workshop studies 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 the workshop we will explore this ambivalence between money as a political institution and money as “filthy lucre.” In doing so we will place contemporary debates about the politics of money and the influence of wealth inequalities on democratic politics in a broader historical and philosophical context.
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, wealth, commerce, and property. We will also consider a number of contemporary debates: Are there things that should never be for sale? Should there be limits on monetary campaign contributions? What are the political implications of electronic currencies? What would a just international monetary system look like?
A broad range of research topics can be pursued in this workshop but the primary methodological focus will be on political theory. Research questions can be historical, normative, 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.