Financial Crisis, Inequality and Globalization: A Transnational Economic History from the Great Depression to the Great Recession (1920s – 2010s)

History N100.001

Summer 2018
First 6 Week Session
60 Barrows
Day & Time: 
TuTh, 4–6 p.m. | May 21–June 29
Class Number: 

• This is a 2 unit course. It does not fulfill a major requirement.

In 2003, during the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, one of its distinguished members, Nobel laureate Robert Lucas confidently proclaimed to his colleagues that the “central problem of depression prevention has been solved, for all practical purposes, and has in fact been solved for many decades.” Just a few years later, during the 2008 Great Recession, his claim was put to the test. If Lucas has been proven right, we can ask at what cost had the global economy been saved from collapse, and for whose benefit? Answers to these questions, as we will discover in this course, critically depend on how we understand the 1929 Great Depression. We will trace what lessons liberal and authoritarian political regimes learned from the Great Depression, and which ones they forgot, and when. Doing this will permit us to evaluate the connections between economic inequality and globalization that give rise to enormous outpouring of professional and popular analysis in the aftermath of financial crisis. Topics covered include global responses to the Great Depression, the Bretton Woods system, 1980s debt crisis, 1990s Asian financial crisis, and the Great Recession.