President’s Lecture Series Continues with ‘Economics and the Art of Strategic Thinking’

January 18, 2017

MISSOULA – Esteemed economist Kaushik Basu will present “Economics and the Art of Strategic Thinking” as part of the 2016-17 President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

Basu, the C. Marks Professor of International Studies and economics professor at Cornell University and former chief economist at World Bank, will deliver the lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, in the University Center Ballroom. The lecture is in collaboration with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center.

Basu also will lead the seminar “The Concept of Power” from 3 to 4:15 p.m. the same day in Gallagher Business Building Room 123. The lecture and seminar both are free and open to the public.

Born in India, Basu went on to the London School of Economics, earning his doctorate in 1976 after working with Amartya Sen on choice theory. He then returned to India and became a professor of economics at the Delhi School of Economics.

He has held many visiting professorships all over the world. At Cornell, he teaches courses on economic development, economic theory, industrial organization and political economy.

In addition to his academic work, he had an extraordinary second career serving as India’s chief economic adviser and a term at the World Bank, which ended this past July. During his time at the World Bank, Basu’s highest priority was a campaign that reached out to people living in extreme poverty.

In a 2011 Wall Street Journal interview about his appointment and his past work as India’s chief economic adviser, he said, “People who live in chronic deprivation rarely command our attention. Yet, to reach out to them is the urgent problem of our times. Success on this requires passion, but also and in equal measure, analysis and research. I will try my best to act on both fronts." 

In 2008, the president of India awarded Basu the Padma Bhushan, one of the country’s highest civilian awards, given to recognize distinguished service of a high order in any field.

Basu’s publication record reflects his eclectic intellectual interests and the variety of his professional accomplishments. He has published several scholarly books, papers and reviews, including editing “The Oxford Companion to Economics in India,” and writing “The Less Developed Economy: A Critique of Contemporary Theory,” “Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Social and Political Foundations of Economics” and “Analytical Development Economics: The Less Developed Economy Revisited.”

As a sign of the esteem in which he is held for his scholarship, he currently is the president-elect of the International Economic Association and scheduled to take office in June. In addition to his academic publications, he has written for mainstream audiences, most notably “The Retreat of Democracy and Other Itinerant Essays on Globalization” and “Beyond the Invisible Hand: Groundwork for a New Economics.”

Basu has been, as the title of one of his other books puts it, “An Economist in the Real World.”

The President’s Lecture Series at UM consists of eight talks throughout the academic year on vital topics by distinguished guest speakers. For more information on the series, visit or call UM history Professor Richard Drake at 406-243-2981.


Contact: Richard Drake, UM history professor and lecture series organizer, 406-243-2981,