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Michael Sandel


Michael J. Sandel is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he has taught political philosophy since 1980. His recent book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, takes on one of the biggest ethical questions of our time: What should be the role of money and markets in our society?

Sandel’s work has been translated into 27 languages. His books include Liberalism and the Limits of Justice (Cambridge University Press, 1982, 2nd edition, 1998), Democracy’s Discontent (Harvard University Press, 1996), Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics (Harvard University Press, 2005), and The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering (Harvard University Press, 2007), and Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009).

At Harvard, Sandel’s courses include “Ethics, Biotechnology, and the Future of Human Nature,” “Ethics, Economics, and Law,” and “Globalization and Its Critics.” His undergraduate course “Justice” has enrolled over 15,000 students, and was the first Harvard course to be made freely available online (www.JusticeHarvard.org) and on television.

A recipient of the Harvard-Radcliffe Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize, Sandel was recognized by the American Political Science Association in 2008 for a career of excellence in teaching. He has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne (Paris), delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford University, and in 2009 delivered the BBC Reith Lectures. In 2010, China Newsweek named him the “most influential foreign figure of the year” in China.

From 2002 to 2005, Sandel served on the President’s Council on Bioethics. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Board of Trustees of Brandeis University, the Board of Directors of the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna), and the Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Brandeis University (1975), Sandel received his doctorate from Oxford University (D.Phil.,1981), where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Visit Professor Sandel’s Harvard profile

Featuring this expert

What Money Can't Buy

Video | May 23, 2018

What Money Can’t Buy is a six part series exploring the role of money and morals in today’s world.

Prospect Magazine and Michael Sandel on "What Money Can't Buy"

News May 22, 2018

Michael Sandel sits down with Prospect Magazine to discuss “What Money Can’t Buy.”

The New Statesman: Michael Sandel on Populism and Democracy

News May 21, 2018

Michael Sandel takes What Money Can’t Buy’s themes of markets and morals and applies them to an analysis of the rise of populism in the West.

The Boston Globe on "What Money Can't Buy"

News May 7, 2018

The Boston Globe sits down with Michael Sandel for a Q&A on “What Money Can’t Buy”