Dean's Forum on the Economic Crisis: Debating the Social, Political, and Economic Impacts

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at the University Center at UC Santa Cruz

April 20, 2012


During the last four years the United States and much of the rest of the world have endured an economic crisis unprecedented since the Great Depression. As in the 1930s, we have witnessed broad and deep financial turmoil touching nearly every segment of society. In addition to its serious negative impacts on the nation’s financial markets, the housing and banking industry, business, and employment, the economic crisis has also affected other aspects of American life, including crime, poverty, labor, education, social welfare, health care, families, psychological well being, politics and governance, and international relations.

On Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at the UC Santa Cruz University Center, the Dean’s Forum on the Economic Crisis will critically examine and assess the multiple and dynamic effects of the severe recession on the economy, in particular, and on non-economic elements (i.e., cultural, social, political, and psychological) of society, in general. UCSC faculty in the Division of Social Sciences along with scholars from other universities will analyze the causes of the economic downturn, speculate how and when the crisis will end, and reflect on what long lasting impacts, if any, it will have on the American capitalist system and society. The main goal of the forum is to stimulate debate and intellectual discourse involving the economic crisis and its impacts on the most important threads within the fabric of society. Faculty and especially students attending the forum will learn about the historical, social, psychological, political, and economic significance of the financial collapse and how it will likely shape people’s lives for many years to come.

The morning session, 10am-12pm, a prominent economist (Professor Michael Dooley, University of California, Santa Cruz) will first present an overview of the causes of the crisis and an assessment of current conditions. This will be followed by a moderated discussion involving faculty from different disciplines concerning the causes of the crisis, how long the financial downturn will last and, in particular, its likely effects on the future of our economic system, both domestically and globally. Following this panel Professor Barry Eichengreen (University of California, Berkeley) will speak at an invitation-only luncheon about the connections between the economic effects of the crisis and the well being of society in various realms. Professor Eichengreen will also join an afternoon panel that will examine the current impact of the economic crisis on the United States and speculate about its long term effects on different segments of society (e.g., unemployed, labor, higher education, social welfare, and immigration). Both faculty and students are invited to attend the forum. Admission is free and open to the campus. Register to attend. The luncheon is by invitation only.

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Questions? Contact Andrea Cohen.

This forum is part of the Bruce Initiative on Rethinking Capitalism. It is sponsored by the Division of Social Sciences, and co-sponsored by the Sury Initiative for Global Finance and International Risk Management (SIGFIRM). Social Sciences department Chairs Ben Crow (Sociology), Kent Eaton (Politics), Avril Thorne (Psychology), and Carl Walsh (Economics) helped organize this forum.

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