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Guest Lecture: Professor Peter BoettkeThe Political Economy of Forgiveness

Page updated 20 Sep 2007

Slides, abstract and paper from Professor Peter Boettke's Guest Lecture presented at the Treasury on 11 August 2006.

Professor Peter Boettke

James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy

Peter Boettke is the Deputy Director of the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy, a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, and a professor in the economics department at George Mason University. Boettke was born and raised in New Jersey. He received his BA in economics from Grove City College and his PhD in economics from George Mason University. Before joining the faculty at George Mason University in 1998, he held faculty positions at Oakland University, Manhattan College and New York University. In addition, Boettke was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University during the 1992-1993 academic year. He has been a visiting professor or scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems in Jena, Germany, the Stockholm School of Economics, Central European University in Prague and Charles University in Prague.

In addition to his scholarly activities, Boettke is a dedicated teacher and has won teaching awards, including the Golden Dozen Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University. He has taught in the Honors College Programs at Oakland University, New York University and George Mason University. Beyond economics, Boettke is also an affiliated faculty member in the Russian Studies Program; has taught at the Law School; and served on dissertation committees in the School of Public Policy.
Boettke is also involved with the Global Prosperity Initiative, which is part of the Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. GPI was founded with the purpose of encouraging an analytical narrative approach to the institutional analysis of development and transition studies. This research seeks to combine an ethnographic style of field research with the analytical structure of economic reasoning to explore the fundamental questions of why some nations are rich and others are poor, and the broad implications of globalization for the liberation of humanity from poverty.

Outside of his teaching and scholarly interests, Boettke is an avid sports fan, especially of college basketball, professional tennis, and the New York Yankees

Abstract

The turn of the century witnessed the emergence of several new democracies wrestling with the past of oppressive state regimes that committed atrocities on their own citizens. In East and Central Europe, the former Soviet Union, Latin America, South Africa, and the Middle East, new governments and their citizens are determining precisely how to balance past and present. In the mid-20th century, Germany and Japan had to negotiate a similar political terrain. Our paper is focused on past injustices perpetrated by totalitarian regimes and using basic economic reasoning we attempt to clear a path for reconciliation and thus hope for a future of peace and prosperity.

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