Michael Sandel
Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government, Harvard University
Social Commentary
Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard University. His writings on justice, ethics, democracy, and markets have been translated into 27 languages. The course he created, "Justice," is the first Harvard course to be made freely available online and on television. It has been viewed by tens of millions of people around the world, including in China, where Sandel was named the "most influential foreign figure of the year." (China Newsweek)

Sandel’s books tackle the most vexing moral and civic questions of our time through the lens of political theory. They include What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets; Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?; The Case against Perfection: Ethics in the Age of Genetic Engineering; Public Philosophy: Essays on Morality in Politics; Democracy’s Discontent: America in Search of a Public Philosophy; and Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.

Sandel has been a visiting professor at the Sorbonne, and delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Oxford, the BBC’s Reith Lectures, and the Kellogg Lecture on Jurisprudence at the U.S. Library of Congress. In 2016, East China Normal University (Shanghai) convened an international conference to explore points of contact between Sandel’s work and the Confucian tradition.

Sandel has sought to extend the methods of critical questioning, discussion, and argument beyond the academy. His BBC Radio 4 series "The Public Philosopher" explores the ideas behind the headlines with audiences around the world. One program, a discussion of violence against women, was recorded in India, following a notorious rape incident in New Delhi. Another took place in Britain’s Palace of Westminster, where Sandel led a debate about democracy with members of Parliament and the public. In Brazil, he recently led a debate on corruption and the ethics of everyday life that reached an audience of 19 million on Globo TV. In Japan, his series on ethics for NHK, Japan’s national television network, convened students from China, Japan, and South Korea to discuss whether moral responsibility for historic wrongs extends across generations.

Sandel has been a pioneer in the use of new technology to promote global public discourse. In a new BBC series, "The Global Philosopher," Sandel leads video-linked discussions with participants from over 30 countries on the ethical aspects of issues such as immigration and climate change.

In the U.S., Sandel has served on the President's Council on Bioethics and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A graduate of Brandeis University, he received his doctorate from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Sandel’s global lectures have taken him across five continents and packed venues such as St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), the Public Theater in New York’s Central Park, and an outdoor stadium in Seoul, South Korea, where 14,000 people came to hear him speak.
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Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?
This presentation is designed to promote civil discourse and deep reflection with the goal of enhancing people's skills to think critically and communicate persuasively as citizens of a pluralistic society. He also helps to identify how we’ve come to a place where so many feel left behind and the consequences within modern American society.
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Democracy's Discontent
Professor Sandel goes beyond the economic and political unease to the more general fraying of the fabrics of a democratic society and then draws into his philosophy about civic responsibility and how that is ultimately the answer to repairing the fractures.
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Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea 2012
Michael Sandel
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