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Autumn Quarter 2023-24

SUSTAIN 143: Finance, Corporations, and Society

As society faces major challenges, democracies and "free-market" capitalism appear to be in crisis. This interdisciplinary course will explore the complex interactions between corporations, governments, and individuals, drawing on insights from the social sciences, business, and law to understand how institutions and collective actions translate to a set of rules and to outcomes for people and nature. The course aims to help students become savvier in their interactions with our economic and political systems and understand the governance issues that are critical to whether and how well institutions in the private and public sectors serve us. Topics include financial decisions, financial markets, banks and institutional investors; corporations and corporate governance; political economy and the rule of law as it applies to people and to organizations, and the role and functioning of the media. We will connect the material to specific issues such as climate change and justice, and discuss current events regularly throughout the course. Students will have the opportunity to explore a situation of their choosing in more depth through group final projects. Visitors with relevant experiences will regularly enrich our class discussion.

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