Past Events

Theoretical Foundations of Current Distress

October 4, 2011

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of John Maynard Keynes' lectures at The New School, SCEPA's Robert L. Heilbroner Memorial Lecture hosted a speech by Lord John Eatwell, president of Queens' College and professor of Financial Policy at the University of Cambridge.

As Eatwell states, "Advocating sensible policies on 'pragmatic' grounds has never been enough to overcome primitive views on deficits, debt, and the role of the state."

The paralysis in policy-making that is exacerbating the economic crisis has its roots in the failure of economic theory. It fails to explain the causes of the breakdown or provide an unambiguous path of action to mitigate its consequences. Today's challenge is the same as that faced by Keynes in the 1930s: how to change the theoretical foundations of economic policy?

John Eatwell

Eatwell Presentation
Robert Heilbroner
Will Milberg
Ed Nell
Eatwell Audience

The Robert Heilbroner Memorial Lecture on the Future of Capitalism

In 1963, Robert Heilbroner earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research, where he was subsequently appointed Norman Thomas Professor of Economics in 1971. He taught at The New School for the next 20 years. Each year, SCEPA hosts a lecture by a distinguished scholar on long-term economic trends to honor Heilbroner's life work.

This annual lecture is used to gain a greater understanding of questions of economic justice and how the profit-seeking activities of private firms might also serve broader social goals. To use his words, "capitalism's uniqueness in history lies in its continuously self-generated change, but it is this very dynamism that is the system's chief enemy."

The event features a distinguished, scholarly talk on long-term economic trends. Past speakers include Nancy Folbre, James K. Galbraith, Sanford Jacoby, William Lazonick, and Stephen Marglin.