PPE Research Seminar

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Research Seminar

The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Research Seminar at Brown University is a new workshop designed to appeal to researchers across disciplines. The PPE Seminar is sponsored by the Political Theory Project, whose mission is to foster the study of those institutions which contribute to societies that are free, prosperous, and fair. 

The focus of the PPE Seminar is to advance research on topics associated with our programs, including informal order and state building; economic, legal and political development; crime and incarceration; and intellectual history. We aim to be a place in the Brown community where scholars can engage with leading research that overlaps in disciplinary appeal and importance. 

The PPE Seminar meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m in the Political Theory Project conference room at 8 Fones Alley. Invited speakers present research that is "work-in-progress" and not yet published. The paper is circulated a week in advance so that participants can read it ahead of time and come prepared to give feedback. There is a 45-minute presentation where the speaker gives an overview of the work, identifies fruitful areas for discussion, and then the floor is opened for discussion. 

- Emily Skarbek, Assistant Professor, Political Theory Project; Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Research Seminar

If you would like to be added to our PPE Seminar mailing list, please notify Alytheia Laughlin at [email protected]. Please consult the tentative schedule below and feel free to attend, all are welcome!

SCHEDULE 2019-2020


Fall 2019

September 18th

Geneviève Rousseliere (Duke University), "Can Sovereignty Be Represented? Jacobinism from Radical Democracy to Populism"

October 2nd

Tyler Cowen (George Mason University) "Is the Rate of Scientific Progress Slowing Down"?

November 14th

Dan Moller (University of Maryland) "Moral Remainders and Redistribution"

Spring 2020

January 30th

 Angus Burgin (Johns Hopkins University) "The Neoliberal Turn"

February 6th

Alisha Holland (Harvard University) "Private Property Against Public Works"

February 27

Julian Mueller (University of Hamburg) "The Logic of Populism"

April 9

Douglas Irwin, Dartmouth


Past Workshops

Spring 2019

February 7th, Dorothy Kronick, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Pennsylvania, "Legal Origins and State Violence"

February 21st, Emily Sellars, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Yale University, "Does Emigration Inhibit Reform? Evidence from the
Mexican Agrarian Movement"

March 7th, Brian Kogelmann, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of Maryland, "Epistemic Polycentricity and the Theory of Public Entrepreneurship"

April 4th, Jeffrey Howard, Lecturer in Political Theory, University College London, "The Deep Morality of Free Speech"

May 2nd, Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University "Criminal Injustice: The Federal Crack Cocoaine Debate of the 1990s"


Fall 2018

September 6th, Jennifer Murtazashvili, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh, "How Centralized Bureaucratic Legacies Undermine Liberal State Building"

September 20th, Richard Hornbeck, Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, "Railroads and the Rise of American Manufacturing"

October 4th, Livia I. Schubiger, Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics, Duke University, "Popular Attitudes Toward War, Instrumental Imperatives, Moral Precepts, and the Laws of War"

October 18th, Musa Al-Gharbi, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, Columbia University, "Resistance as Sacrifice (and Vice-Versa), Toward and Ascetic Anti-Racism"

November 1st, Volha Charnysh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "Diversity, Institutions, and Economic Outcomes: Post-WWII Displacement in Poland." 

November 15th, Michelle Schwarze, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Wisconsin Madison, "Invisible Causes: Hume, Smith, and the Natural Belief in a Causal Order."



Spring 2018

Tues, Feb 13th 2018 (12:30pm) - David Skarbek (Associate Professor, Political Science, Brown University), “Political Economy of Life in English Prisons”

Tues, March 13th 2018 (12:30pm) - Emily Skarbek (Assistant Professor (Research), Political Theory Project, Brown University),  “The Rise of Civil Society in Early 19th Century America”

Fri, April 6th 2018 (12:00pm) - Barak Richman (Bartlett Professor of Law and Business Administration, School of Law, Duke University), “Stateless Commerce: The Diamond Network and the Persistence of Relational Exchange”

Mon, April 16th 2018 (4:00pm) - Benjamin Lessing (Assistant Professor, Political Science, University of Chicago), “Making Peace in Drug Wars: Crackdowns and Cartels in Latin America”

Mon, May 7th 2018 (12:30pm) - Daniel D’Amico (Associate Director, Political Theory Project, Brown University), “Cartel Federalism and Mass Incarceration”