Mark Setterfield, Professor and Chair of Economics at The New School for Social Research, and Julia Ott, Associate Professor of History and co-director of the Heilbroner Center at NSSR.

NSSR Announces $1 Million Gift to Economics Department and Heilbroner Center

In the 1970s, Paul Sweezy, one of the 20th century’s most influential Marxist economists, came to The New School for Social Research to teach. Prior to that, he was an influential tutor at Harvard where his students included none other than Robert Heilbroner, who went on to become an NSSR faculty member and later, the namesake of the school’s Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies.

That history, along with Sweezy’s sizable impact on the study of economics, makes the naming of new Fellowships after him and his longtime colleague, Harry Magdoff, another influential 20th century Marxist economist, so fitting.

The Harry Magdoff and Paul Sweezy Fellowships, as they have been dubbed, are funded by a generous $1 million gift from an anonymous donor. The gift will provide full funding for nine incoming doctoral students in the Department of Economics over three years and advance 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 NSSR’s Department of Economics continues to teach and to build upon in thinking about the economy,” Will Milberg, Professor of Economics and Dean of NSSR, says. “It will greatly strengthen our ability to train a new generation of economists in this tradition.”

“The Magdoff and Sweezy Fellowships will be crucial in attracting the best students,” Professor and Chair of Economics Mark Setterfield says. “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,” says Julia Ott, Associate Professor of History and co-director of the Heilbroner Center. “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.”

During their storied careers, Magdoff and Sweezy 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. Additionally, Sweezy authored 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), while Magdoff penned The Age of Imperialism: The Economics of US Foreign Policy (1969). Magdoff and Sweezy also co-wrote six books, including Stagnation and Financial Explosion (1987), one of the earliest treatments of the problem of financialization that continues to plague the U.S. economy.