New York – August 17, 2017 – The New School for Social Research has received a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor in support of the Department of Economics and the Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies.
The funds will be used to create the Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy Fellowships, named for two of the 20th Century’s most influential Marxist economists. Magdoff (1913-2006) and Sweezy (1910-2004) edited the journal Monthly Review, which Sweezy co-founded in 1949, and which still stands as the longest continuously published socialist magazine in the United States. Sweezy’s works include The Theory of Capitalist Development: Principles of Marxian Political Economy (1946) and Monopoly Capital: An Essay on the American Economic and Social Order (1966, with Paul Baran). Magdoff’s best-known book is The Age of Imperialism: The Economics of US Foreign Policy (1969). Magdoff and Sweezy co-authored six other books, including Stagnation and Financial Explosion (1987), one of the earliest treatments of the problem of financialization that continues to plague the US economy today.
The gift will provide generous support for incoming economics doctoral students, while advancing interdisciplinary research on the dynamics of capitalist economies at the Heilbroner Center. “This gift honors not just Magdoff and Sweezy, but the entire heterodox tradition of Marx, Keynes, Kalecki, Robinson and Steindl that The New School Department of Economics continues to teach and to build upon in thinking about the economy. It will greatly strengthen our ability to train a new generation of economists in this tradition,” said Will Milberg, Professor of Economics and Dean of The New School for Social Research. Milberg remarked that the naming of the fellowships is particularly appropriate for The New School because of its longstanding strength in classical and post-Keynesian economic theory. He also noted that Paul Sweezy taught Marxian economics at The New School in the mid-1970s and prior to that was an influential tutor at Harvard where his students included Robert Heilbroner.
Over the course of three years, the gift will provide full funding for nine incoming doctoral students in the Department of Economics. “The Magdoff and Sweezy Fellowships will be crucial in attracting the best students,” said Professor and Chair of Economics Mark Setterfield. “We recognize the transformative potential that a gift of this size can have on our capacity to train the next generation of progressive scholars.”
The Heilbroner Center will benefit from the addition of a Visiting Professor of Capitalism Studies and a number of doctoral dissertation fellowships. Founded to incubate interdisciplinary research on the history and contemporary dynamics of capitalism, the Heilbroner Center has already developed an innovative curriculum. “This generous gift will allow us to build sustainable research capacity at the Center,” said Julia Ott, Associate Professor of History and co-Director of the Heilbroner Center. She added, “a new Visiting Professor of Capitalism Studies will allow us to expand the scope of our research and to increase the visibility of capitalism studies internationally.”
“We’re grateful for the opportunity to support our students while we build up the research capacity of the Heilbroner Center and carry forward the intellectual and political legacy of Magdoff and Sweezy,” said Milberg.