To change the world, we must first understand how it functions. With that in mind, this course begins by introducing students to the dominant political economy frameworks that have shaped and governed our world today. We will learn about the history of economic growth in the 20th and 21st centuries, including how it was made possible as well as the social and environmental costs of this growth. Looking forward, we will consider the many alternative frameworks, both old and new, that promise to create a more socially just, sustainable world.
Moving from the macro to the micro, and stemming from a belief that sustainable change must be intersectoral, we will then investigate how governments, through law, policy, and regulation, shape social and economic space in an attempt to balance the needs of individuals with society at large. Finally, we will consider how socially equitable and sustainable solutions might engage with the political and economic systems of today and tomorrow. To that end, we will explore the various organizational forms currently available and assess their strengths and weaknesses in bringing about social, environmental, and economic change.