The four-course sequence for this consolidated specialization, Markets & Political Economy, will be composed of an introductory course, an intermediate course, a capstone course, plus one elective.

  • SRES 315: Catholic Social Teaching and Political Economy will serve as the introductory course, providing students a comprehensive introduction to the social thought of the Catholic Church juxtaposed with key thinkers in political economy including but not limited to Smith, Marx, Mill, and Ropke.
  • SRES 325: Public Policy and Federal Budgets will serve as the intermediate course, providing students a comprehensive introduction to the role of the state as an economic actor, examining especially the most important components of the federal budget, including Social Security, Medicare, defense spending, and non defense spending.
  • SRES 470: Free Enterprise, Liberty & the Common Good will serve as the capstone course. Conceptual and practical issues arising from earlier courses will be re-examined through questions relating to the common good, individualism, sovereignty, and justice towards God and neighbor. Case studies involving contemporary and perennial debates will be used throughout. Classical conceptions of justice and the common good will provide a foundation, from Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, including the synthesis in St. Thomas Aquinas. These will be contrasted with social contract and libertarian conceptions influential in modern thought. Key questions to be pursued is this: which mode of political economy, and which underlying conception of the human person, is the true heir to Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum: some kind of social democracy, 'state capacity capitalism,' Novak's democratic capitalism, or something else? What kind of political economy would be a distinctively American contribution? What are the best ethical defenses of a free economy?

Students will select one course from the following list of topics in Markets and Political Economy:

  • SRES 260: Game Theory & Strategic Thinking
  • SRES 345: Marriage, Family, and Social Order
  • SRES 350: Education and Religion in Social Research
  • SRES 408: Evolution of Business, Human Rights & ESG
  • SRES 411: Business and Civil Rights