School of Social Science
Eric Maskin, Albert O. Hirschmann Professor, School of Social Science. Proponents of free trade have argued that expanding global markets should reduce income inequality in poorer countries. So far, however, there is no compelling evidence that such a reduction has occurred.
Clifford Geertz, an eminent scholar in the field of cultural anthropology known for his extensive research in Indonesia and Morocco, died on October 30, 2006, at the age of 80. Geertz was Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study, where he had served on the Faculty since 1970.
Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor, School of Social Science. The political season is upon us and so, if they were not before, our newspapers, radios, computer screens, and televisions are now overfull with sound-bites; and countless people are complaining about the degradation of political conversation. But is a sound-bite really such a bad thing?
Alan B. Krueger, Leon Levy Foundation Member (2007-08) in the School of Social Science. Some economists view unemployment as a minor concern, while others argue that it is a serious malady.
Eric Maskin, Albert O. Hirschman Professor, School of Social Science. Eric Maskin shared the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in Mechanism Design Theory. This is the study of how, given an economic or social goal, we can design a procedure or institution (that is, a mechanism) for achieving that goal.
The work of Michael Walzer, one of America's foremost political thinkers, was recognized at a three-day conference on the Institute campus. Professor Emeritus in the School of Social Science, Walzer was celebrated for his contributions to the ethical and political philosophy of the twentieth century at the "Justice, Culture, and Tradition" conference.
Solving societal problems involves changing people’s behavior – inducing them to drink less, exercise more, turn down the heat, stay in school, and so on. Interventions designed to change these behaviors have met with limited success. School of Social Science Visiting Professor Deborah Prentice discusses how a closer look at interventions and their affect on people’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations reveals why some succeed and others fail, and she also suggests strategies for improving these outcomes.
Barry O'Neill, Leon Levy Foundation Member, School of Social Science. Many of the world’s societies function by codes of honor. Violence between ethnic groups or countries often follows the rules of honor among individuals, in particular among males. In general this means willingness to face risk to defend the group, to take vengeance, and to make clear to others that one values honor. Points of honor vary across cultures, however. In this lecture, Barry O’Neill, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, will argue that in a dispute, a state must understand its rival’s honor code even if it rejects it. O’Neill uses game theory to study international decision-making with a view to preventing war.
Humanitarianism, which can be defined as the introduction of moral sentiments into human affairs, is a major component of contemporary politics—locally and globally—for the relief of poverty or the management of disasters, in times of peace as well as in times of war. But how different is the world and our understanding of it when we mobilize compassion rather than justice, call for emotions instead of rights, consider inequality in terms of suffering, and violence in terms of trauma? What is gained—and lost—in this translation? In this lecture, Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science, attempts to comprehend humanitarian government, to make sense of its expansion, and to assess its ethical and political consequences.