Liberty, Justice and Crisis: A competition for readers

Two days ago, my MPhil students, sat their end of First Year final examination in a course entitled Economics as a Social Science (offered in the context of UADPhilEcon). I thought you might be interested to see the ‘cruel’ questions I set for them. Would you care to provide answers? Perhaps we can have a competition for the best answers subnitted to this blog. For those interested, please select one of the questions below and write an answer of no more than 500 words. Then submit it to me either by email or as a comment to this post. The winner will win a copy of our (that is, jointly authored with Joseph Halevi and Nicholas Theocarakis) latest book entitled Modern Political Economics: making sense of the post-2008 world (London and New York: Routeldge)

Deadline for participating in this competition: 31st July 2011

Question 1 (Please answer both A and B below)

(A) “Solidarity and altruism are nothing more than forms of enlightened selfishness.” Discuss and draw out of the discussion different perspectives on the meaning of ‘solidarity’, of ‘altruism’ and, lastly, of ‘selfishness’.

(B) Define freedom.

Question 2

Is justice liberty’s enemy? And/or vice versa? (Explain your answer fully.)

Question 3

Define capitalism and discuss at least three of its varieties (nb. it can be over different time periods or in different social/political/geographical/cultural contexts).

Question 4

Select a significant economic crisis from the past and explain how and why it happened, what explanation was given by economic theorists of that time (if any), and what policies the government of the time adopted to overcome the crisis (if it did anything at all).