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Master Classes Abstracts 2017-2018

The Max Weber Master Classes are held by the Max Weber lecturers usually the day after the lecture itself. 

They are related to the Thematic Research Group sponsoring each lecturer and are mostly open to MW Fellows and members of the group.

Wolfgang Schoen (Max Planck Institutefor Tax Law and Public Finance)


12 October 2017, 10:00-12:00
Villa Paola, Seminar Room

Cecilia L. Ridgeway (Stanford University)

'Status inequalities'

9 Novemebr 2017, 10:00-12:00
Badia, Emeroteca


Odd Arne Westad (Harvard University)


'Writing the history of the Cold War within the framework of global history'

14 December 2017, 10:00-12:00
Badia, Emeroteca


Jan-Werner Mueller (Princeton University)

"The wrong way to think about populism"
18 January 2018, 10:00-12:00
Villa Paola Seminar Room




Dani Rodrik (Harvard Kennedy School)

“Ideas, Interests, and Unpacking Them” 

Venue tbc, 14 February, 14:00-16:00


The discussion will focus on the role of ideas in driving social behavior.

Constructivist and rational-choice models of political economy are used to understand the extent to which ideas and interests can be distinguished from each other.


1. Dani Rodrik,  When Ideas Trump Interests:Preferences, Worldviews, and Policy Innovations

2. D. Yanagizawa-Drott,  Propaganda and Conflict

3. S. Della Vigna, M. Gentzkow, Persuasion

Rachel Kranton (Duke University)


“News Sharing and The Market for (Fake) News”

15 March 2018, 10:30-11:45
Villa La Fonte, Conference Room


This research considers the creation of decision-relevant information ("news") that may be true or false and that people can share over a social network. The model captures a range of settings including social media (such as twitter) and high school gossip.  

People are completely rational and want to spread and adopt only true news.

The model adds the feature that people can “fact check” the news and decide whether or not spread it or adopt it.  

We find that this ability to fact check the news leads to greater overall news adoption but also to greater adoption of false news. 

Alexander Aleinikoff (The New School)

'The Arc of Protection: Toward a New International Refugee Regime'
19 April 2018, 10:00-12:00
Villa Paola, Seminar Room

Readings were made available upon registration 

Debra Satz (Stanford University)

Some (Largely) Ignored Problems with Privatization
17 May 2018, 10:00-12:00
Villa Paola, Seminar Room



More than efficiency and accountability are at stake in the decision to contract out publicly provided goods or publicly owned resources.

This master class makes the case for considering two other aspects of privatization: inequality and the erosion of public purposes. Moving a good or service out of the public sector can distort and fragment important public goals regarding that good or service, in part by changing the decision path by which that good or service is produced and distributed

Readings were made available through Francesca Grassini.

Page last updated on 14 October 2021

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