The Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) department at AUB-M teaches and researches from a multidisciplinary perspective the social, economic, and political issues and challenges facing our world in general and the eastern Mediterranean in particular. Research wise, the department is focused on supporting and promoting multidisciplinary projects, themes, and initiatives that combine the three disciplines. Educationally, the PPE department offers a PPE degree that combines the rigorous tools and theories of political science and economics with normative philosophical analysis, to foster broader vision and critical understanding of our institutions, practices, and policies at local, regional, and international levels. The department provides foundational courses in each of the three disciplines as well as a unique set of gateway, bridging, and capstone courses designed for the PPE degree. After graduating, the PPE degree opens pathways for its alumni in graduate studies in various disciplines (development studies, economics, political science, international affairs, and moral/political philosophy). It also trains, equips, and prepares its alumni for careers in public service, political science, international organizations, and business. In line with AUB’s mission, the department promotes freedom of thought and respect for diversity, enhancing critical thinking, protecting personal integrity, and encouraging civic engagement.
The department of PPE offers a wide range of introductory and advanced courses in all
the disciplines of philosophy, politics, and economics. It also offers a set of specially
designed courses that bridge these three disciplines. Students obtain a rich and dynamic
understanding of the ways these disciplines inform various approaches to public affairs
at the global, regional, and local levels. They also engage in sustained research projects
in their fourth year through the application and dissertation capstone courses. Students
also have the opportunity to learn more about research through departmental colloquia,
in which international and local speakers present their latest work across a variety of
On successful completion of this program the graduate will be able to:
- Understand basic concepts and theories in economics, politics, and normative philosophy.
- Analyze and apply concepts and theories from philosophy, politics, and economics in addressing public concerns.
- Critically evaluate competing positions and arguments about events, policies, and institutional arrangements.
- Identify and critically analyze the values that inform and shape our economic and political practice and institutions.
- Demonstrate ability to apply research tools and methods in the social sciences.
- Communicate effectively and fluently ideas and research findings orally and in writing.
These learning outcomes align with the European qualification framework.
In addition to the comprehensive undergraduate curriculum, our students can gain
practical experience through volunteer work and community engagement, and research
assistantships that prepare them for applying their academic training to the outside world.
The students and faculty maintain a caring and friendly community. The Chairperson acts
as a point-of-contact in the case of any dispute or disagreement. Students also have the
opportunity to receive support and learn from their peers. The PPE Student Society will
be an active hub that engages students in seminars, lectures, workshops and
After completing the BA degree, students can opt to pursue graduate studies in various
fields related to their areas of interests and training, such as development studies,
economic, politics and moral/political philosophy. They may also opt for careers in public
service, international organizations, business, and others.
Our undergraduate courses include:
PHIL 210 Ethics
An introduction to some of the major normative ethical theories based on the study of the original writings of selected philosophers, including a section on applied ethics.
PHIL 211 Introduction to Logic
An introduction to basic concepts and tools which, in addition to being of interest in themselves, also inform various philosophical discussions and are taken for granted in different areas of contemporary philosophy.
PHIL 216 Political philosophy
An examination of the main issues of political philosophy, such as political obligation, justice, political rights, and other issues.
PHIL 252 Special topics in political and moral philosophy
The course focuses on a selected topic (theme or author) in the field of moral or political philosophy.
ECON 203 Survey of economics
Elementary principles of microeconomics and macroeconomics and applications.
ECON 217 Intermediate microeconomics
Theory of allocation of resources; consumers’ choice and classical demand theory, exchange and welfare; theory of production and cost; price and output determination under alternative market structures; game theory and applications to oligopoly.
ECON 227 Intermediate macroeconomics
A study of the aggregate approach to economics, including the determination of output, employment, interest rates, and the price level. Inflation and stabilization policies, budget deficits and the national debt, business cycles, theories of consumption, and investment behavior.
ECON 215 Applied economics
A comprehensive treatment of econometric techniques applied in cross-sectional and time series models. Topics include but are not limited to the estimation of bivariate and multiple regression models; validation tests; corrective methods employed when assumptions are violated; regressions with a qualitative dependent variable; Logit models; VAR; and cointegration.
PSPA 213 International politics
Through a set of fundamental questions, and building upon students’ knowledge of, and interest in, international relations and world politics, this course intends to accompany students in a reflection upon some of the most important international issues.
PSPA 210 Introduction to political thought
An introduction to the main currents of political thought in the world (Jewish, Christian-western, Islamic, Black-American, Indigenous), with a focus on theories such as liberalism, libertarianism, Marxism, anarchism, and decolonization.
PSPA 260 Policy analysis
This is a course on the analysis of contemporary government and policy making. It approaches policy as a multiple hybrid space between state and society, expertise and politics, science and democracy, nature and culture, power and knowledge.
PSPA 201 Introduction to politics
An introduction to the study of politics with emphasis on the basic concepts, ideas, and issues relating to the process of government in modern societies.
PPE 201 Introduction to PPE
Introduction to PPE is the first gateway course students take. It combines all PPE disciplines and should be taught by at least two faculty members from distinct disciplines. In this course students are introduced to the emergence of the social sciences from philosophy in the 19th century and how they forged their identities in the 20th century. As each discipline has established its boundaries, we bring them back together in the PPE degree. The recent re-emergent interest in the benefits of interdisciplinarity, in how the three disciplines can complement each other working in pairs or as triples, in both theoretical and applied work, will cover a significant portion of the course. The course also introduces the history of the PPE degree and the varied career paths it offers its holders.
PPE 203 PPE economic justice
This course introduces and examines different conceptions of economic justice. It looks closely at different answers that contemporary philosophers and economists give to the question: How and on what grounds should economic benefits and burdens be distributed? The aim of the course is to deepen the students' understanding of debates, issues, and distinctions related to economic justice. It equally aims at developing and sharpening students' powers of critical thinking and analysis.
PPE 202 Research design in PPE
Research design is taught in year three by one instructor from politics and one instructor from economics. It introduces PPE students to the different applied research methods and tools they are likely to encounter and employ in economics and politics. It is divided in two parts, the quantitative and the qualitative. This course is a pre-requisite for ECON 215.
PPE 204 Conflict, peace, and justice
This course introduces and examines different phenomena of war, conflict, peace and conflict resolution from the perspective of politics and philosophy. It explores the different conceptions of violence in contemporary societies and approaches violence as a political, philosophical and epistemological issue. The aim of the course is to deepen the students' understanding of debates, issues, and distinctions related to conflict, peace and violence. It equally aims at developing and sharpening students' powers of critical thinking and analysis.
PPE 205 Political Economy
This course starts from the premise that a long-term view of production, power and social change is essential for understanding enduring patterns of wealth and poverty in the contemporary world. By emphasizing the historical and ecological specificity of the infrastructures of social power inherited from the agrarian past, the course tries to highlight the pitfalls of deploying models based on European example for understanding development and social change in other parts of the globe.
PPE 206 Ethics and public affairs
Ethics and public affairs engages PPE students on critical societal issues that arise in ethics, economics, politics, globalization, and the daily life of citizens. Students will discover and discuss public affairs that arise within a context of ethics, politics and economics.
PPE 207 Regional topics
This course is open to disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary approaches that take the region - Middle East & Mediterranean - as the venture point both for theory production and empirical focus. Themes can include the following: human development in the region; gender in the Middle East and North Africa; humanitarian intervention and crisis in the Global South; Government in the Middle East and the Arab world; Political Islam; maritime politics; refugees, borders, and migration; etc.
PPE 208 Special topics
This course is open to disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary approaches that take the faculty’s own research as the core content both for teaching and empirical focus. AUB Mediterraneo faculty will be invited to teach in a gamut of themes that touch upon PPE interdisciplinary aspects, including gender; crisis; government; inequality; solidarity; social movements; disaster; behavioral public policy; etc.
PPE 209/210 Application/dissertation
This capstone sequence of courses starts in the Fall of the final year and takes two semesters to complete. Its completion entails the writing of a substantive piece of research that combines at least two disciplines. Students will work with a primary advisor from one discipline and a secondary advisor from another discipline. A thesis of about 10,000 words will be written and will form the grade.