A graduating senior sends along this press release, indicating that Notre Dame’s academic forum this year will discuss, “the role of ethics, values and morals in the rebuilding and reshaping of the global economy.” Previous topics have been immigration, climate change, and third-world development.
As the press release notes, in play is Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, which I discussed at great length here.
Notably, the stated goal of the forum strikes me as one of the key missions of the now-extinct Department of Economics and Policy Studies. From the department’s website (which will probably be gone in a few months):
It has a strong commitment to analyzing issues relating to socio-economic justice and ethics in economics. It focuses on policy-related topics such as poverty, income distribution and social justice, which stress the human dimension of economics.
So, the big question: will heterodox ideas and approaches get play at this forum? One negative indication is that the host is as mainstream as it gets- Thomas Friedman. That’s sure to piss off the right-wingers at ND, but will it actually drive a discussion of ethics and the economy? The jury is out until I see the other panelists. This forum could be a key entry point for a broader discussion. However, the dissonance between the topic and the decision to close the department could not be starker.