fbpx Economic Justice: Theory and Practice | Harvard Kennedy School
Mathias Risse Photo

Mathias Risse

Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Administration

Consider these facts: The fortunes of billionaires grew by $2.5 billion a day in 2018 while the poorest 50% experienced a 11% decline in their wealth. In the US, the wealth gap between the richest and poorest families more than doubled from 1989 to 2016, with the net worth of a Black family one-tenth that of a typical white family in 2016. This course--located at the intersection of political morality, economic policy, human rights, and social movement theory--focuses on economic justice and what justice demands of our economic institutions and policies. We’ll approach this through theory, policy, and practice. We’ll tackle timely domestic and global concerns, such as income and wealth inequality, the impact of racial discrimination on Black wealth and opportunity, and the phenomenon of philanthrocapitalism or billionaire philanthropy. We’ll examine policy recommendations and social movements’ proposals for reform and reimagination, such as progressive taxation and reparations. The class will include a weekly webinar “The Fierce Urgency of Now” featuring Black, Indigenous, People of Color scholars, activists, and community leaders.