Our programs make The Murphy Institute a one-of-a-kind intellectual center that fosters ethical reflection on social values, an undergraduate education focused on political and economic dynamics, research and outreach on public policy, and top legal scholarship. These assets are united by their focus on research, teaching, and engagement with both the Tulane community and beyond, while building on the existing and significant strengths of affiliated faculty. Together they enrich the scope of analysis, thought, and discussion on campus, setting The Murphy Institute apart from any other institute throughout the country.
The Institute supports academic programs in the fields of political economy, ethics, and public policy. Since 1984, it has sponsored a highly acclaimed undergraduate program in political economy which brings together economists, historians, philosophers, and political scientists committed to moving beyond traditional boundaries of their disciplines in a common search for new insights and new ways of studying the interconnections of politics and economics. Currently, about 150 Tulane students annually enroll in the undergraduate political economy program, making it one of the most popular interdisciplinary majors at the university.
In 2001, The Murphy Institute established the Center for Ethics (CE), which offers both Visiting Faculty Fellowships and Graduate Prize Fellowships. The idea driving CE is that Tulane should have a place where faculty, students, and visitors can broadly examine critical issues of right and wrong, justice and injustice, citizenship and community, and the ethics of the professions. CE's annual Faculty Seminar provides a setting in which Faculty Fellows, Tulane faculty, and visiting scholars present new scholarship-in-progress.
In 2010, The Murphy Institute expanded its intellectual scope by creating the Center for Public Policy Research (CPPR), a multi-disciplinary research center that balances academic research with applied work in the areas of healthcare, public finance, and education policy issues. This Center focuses on increasing public policy research, supporting external grant opportunities, and escalating campus and community outreach. CPPR is enhanced by the systematic and rigorous analysis of social perspectives and alternatives that stem from Murphy's other programs.
Most recently, in 2019, The Murphy Institute and Tulane Law established the Center on Law and the Economy (CLE), a result of ten years of collaboration. The Center expands on the engaging programming on regulation that CPPR fostered in the prior decade, and supports leading-edge research on myriad issues—from inequality and the law, to taxation, to shareholder rights, to odious debt and sovereignty norms.
Devoted to the social and ethical dimensions of public affairs with an emphasis on the scholarly discussion of ethics and moral and political philosophy across a wide range of disciplines, intellectual perspectives, and schools.