In 2015/16, Prof. BŁthe taught two courses on U.S. andtitrust law and policy and on comparative & international competition law and policy:
Political Science 255 (Fall 2015): America in the World Economy – The Law, Politics & Economics of U.S. Antitrust, 1890-2015. This highly interactive lecture course (with elements of a research seminar) is an introduction to the history and key issues in U.S. antitrust from the beginning of federal antitrust legislation in 1890 through today, with special emphasis on how politics and economics of antitrust have been intertwined with the position of the United States in the world economy. It focuses on antitrust law - which authorizes interventions against cartels, monopolies, and anti-competitive conduct, with the goal of constraining the accumulation and abuse of economic power - as one of the key instruments governments have to shape the structure and distribution of benefits of a market economy. During the first half of the course, students will learn the tools of historical, legal, political and economic research on antitrust. We will, for example, examine competing claims about the legislative intent of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 in light of primary sources and competing claims about the market power of Google in light of economic analyses of Google's main markets. To practice those skills and learn about different aspects of U.S. antitrust law and enforcement, students will do a group research exercise on particular U.S. antitrust cases. Students then have a choice of either participating in a group replication study of an analysis of the politics of U.S. antitrust enforcement (building on the research exercise), or to write a research paper on another aspect of U.S. antitrust thought or practice, such as changes in the political economy of U.S. antitrust in the context of economic globalization, culminating in brief presentations to the class. As part of the course, we will take a field trip to Washington to meet with policymakers and senior staff members from the U.S. antitrust enforcement agencies, as well as antitrust experts from the private sector.
Political Science 255 is cross-listed as Public Policy 254 and History 252; it counts toward the Markets & Management certificate, the Duke-UNC Politics, Philosophy & Economics certificate, and the Kenan Institute's Ethics certificate.
Political Science 555 (Spring 2016): Politics of Market Competition in a Global Economy. This course examines varying approaches to competition law and policy across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America in comparison with the U.S. antitrust tradition, and analyzes international aspects of antitrust/competition law and policy, such as the global diffusion of competition laws and agencies, as well as international conflict and cooperation over competition law enforcement. This course is aimed at advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students in Political Science, Public Policy and Law. It is cross-listed as Public Policy 555 and Ethics 555 and counts toward the Markets & Management certificate.