Event Summary: CE 2024 Public Lecture Series

The Public Lecture Series, hosted by The Murphy Institute’s Center for Ethics, serves as a vital platform for intellectual exchange, where scholars and practitioners from a broad range of intellectual and professional disciplines and concerned citizens can engage with pressing ethical questions. For the 2024 Public Lecture Series, the Center for Ethics hosted three internationally known scholars who delivered public lectures at Tulane: Jonathan Simon of UC Berkley’s School of Law, who discussed ways to stem mass incarceration; Beatriz Magaloni of Standford University’s Department of Political Science and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies investigated humane policing; and Subramanian Rangan of INSEAD, the global business school founded in Fontainebleau, France, who explored how we can restore fairness to the economic system.

The Center for Ethics Public Lectures are free and open to the public.


Jonathan Simon: “Building the Carceral Cathedral: What history can teach us about how (and how hard it is) to shrink the carceral state”

On January 19, 2024, the Center for Ethics commenced its 2024 Lecture Series with a talk by Jonathan Simon, the Lance Robbins Professor of Criminal Justice Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Simon’s research delves into the intricate interplay between crime, criminal justice, and contemporary societies, as well as the historical context of interdisciplinary legal studies.

In his lecture, Prof. Simon dissected the origins of mass incarceration in the United States. He challenged prevailing myths—such as the notion of racial governance—that underpin our modern punitive systems. By debunking these myths, he advocates for a path toward dismantling current incarceration practices.

The audience, comprising undergraduate and law students, faculty from diverse academic disciplines including law, philosophy, economics, history, and sociology, and local legal practitioners enjoyed engaging with Simon’s insights. This lecture was co-sponsored by Tulane University’s Department of History.


Beatriz Magaloni: “Challenges in Creating More Humane & Equitable Policing: A Focus on the Global South”

On March 8th, the Center for Ethics hosted the year’s second public lecture featuring Beatriz Magaloni, a distinguished scholar working in the intersection of political science, criminology, and the political economy of development. As a Professor in Stanford University’s Department of Political Science and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Magaloni's research addresses critical issues related to state repression, police violence, and human rights.

In her lecture, which was sponsored by Tulane’s Department of Political Science and The Center for Inter-American Policy Research, Magaloni explored the challenges posed to instituting more humane policing, focusing on the Global South, particularly upon Mexico and Brazil.


Subramanian Rangan: “The Pareto Trap: How Fairness Got Sacrificed at the Altar of Efficiency and How We Might Resurrect It”

On April 19, The Murphy Institute’s Center for Ethics hosted 2023-2024’s third Public Lecture featuring Subramanian Rangan, Professor of Strategy and Management and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court Endowed Chair of Societal Progress at INSEAD, the global business school located in Fontainebleau, France. Prof. Rangan’s research explores the evolution of capitalism and in particular how enterprises and all economic actors may better integrate performance and progress. Prof. Rangan also investigates the political sociology of discrimination of foreign transnational firms and these firms’ non-market strategies.

Professor Rangan’s work at the intersection of business, economics, political and moral philosophy, sociology and psychology is critical to advancing global, interdisciplinary conversations on economic prosperity, fairness, and well-being. In his lecture, Rangan explored various systems that society constructed to regulate social interdependence: the biosystem; the cultural system; the economic system; and the political system. We have, claims Rangan, lost our trust in the economic system because we see it as unfair. Through the course of his talk, Rangan expressed optimism as he considered ways that we might resurrect fairness to regain trust in the economic system to promote progress in terms of both prosperity and social well-being. This event was co-sponsored by The Altman Program in International Studies & Business, The A.B. Freeman School of Business’ Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and 89.9 WWNO.