HKS shield.

Roberto Mangabeira Unger


The world’s economic and political order reels under mounting challenges that predate the Covid pandemic, and have deepened in its aftermath: climate change, global financial fragility, the austerity debacle, a slowdown in economic growth and productivity, the aggravation of inequality and the inadequacy of conventional responses to it, the discrediting of the Washington Consensus, the globalization backlash, the re-emergence of nationalist politics in Europe and the United States, and a contest over the meaning, value, and requirements of democracy. We examine connections among these phenomena and explore alternative ways of thinking about contemporary market economies and their reconstruction. We organize the course around four related themes: the worldwide financial and economic crisis of the recent past and its management; the effort to promote socially inclusive economic growth in richer as well as in poorer countries; the nature, fate, and dissemination of the new knowledge-intensive style of production; and the past, present, and future of globalization.

Also offered by the Law School as 2390 and the Government Department as Gov 1025. Please note, this is a jointly offered course hosted by another Harvard school and, accordingly, students must adhere to the academic and attendance policies of that school.