Julian Jonker

Julian Jonker
  • Assistant Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    Room 669 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
    3730 Walnut Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Links: CV



Julian Jonker is an assistant professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He works in moral philosophy, legal theory, and business ethics. A general theme in his work is that social institutions such as rights and markets are concerned with regulating the control that individuals and organizations are able to exercise over each other. His work begins with the simple observation that, while control is of importance to us, we are not always able to exercise control over the things that matter to us, and that we do not always want to. Markets are justifiable insofar as they allocate rights and other relational normative statuses that regulate these permissible and inevitable disparities in control. That leads to important insights into (for example) what is wrong with discrimination, overly risky product design, and exploitation and other abuses of market power.

Professor Jonker is a South African citizen and studied law in South Africa shortly after the democratic transition and the certification of the post-apartheid constitution. While a researcher at the District Six Museum and graduate student at the University of Cape Town he wrote about the legal and ethical dimensions of cultural property.

Ph.D. (Philosophy), University of California at Berkeley
MPhil (Law), University of Cape Town
LLB, University of Cape Town
BBusSci, University of Cape Town

Academic Positions Held
Lecturer, Department of Private Law, University of Cape Town (2007-2010)

Other Positions Held
Researcher, District Six Museum (2001—2004)

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Past Courses


    This course presents law as an evolving social institution, with special emphasis on the legal regulation of business in the context of social values. It considers basic concepts of law and legal process, in the U.S. and other legal systems, and introduces the fundamentals of rigorous legal analysis. An in-depth examination of contract law is included.

  • LGST9200 - Ethics in Bus & Econ

    The seminar explores the growing academic literature in business ethics. It also provides participants an opportunity to investigate an ethical issue of their choosing in some depth, using their field of specialty as context. The seminar assumes no previous exposure to business ethics. Different business ethics theories and frameworks for investigating issues will be discussed, including corporate social responsibility, corporate moral agency, theories of values, and corporate governance. In turn, these theories will be applied to a range of issues, both domestic and international. Such issues include: corruption in host countries, the management of values in modern corporations, the ethical status of the corporation, ethics in sophisticated financial transactions (such as leveraged derivative transactions), and gender discrimination in the context of cultural differences. Literature not only from business ethics, but from professional and applied ethics, law, and organizational behavior will be discussed. Often, guest speakers will address the seminar. At the discretion of the class, special topics of interest to the class will be examined. Students will be expected to write and present a major paper dealing with a current issue within their major field. The course is open to students across fields, and provides integration of ideas across multiple business disciplines.

Awards and Honors

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Latest Research

Julian Jonker (2020), Risk and Asymmetry in Development Ethics, African Journal of Business Ethics, 14 (1), pp. 23-41. https://doi.org/10.15249/14-1-244
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In the News

The Whistleblower’s Dilemma: Do the Risks Outweigh the Benefits?

How does a worker know what warrants a whistleblower response -- and how can organizations encourage those who want to report a misdeed to come forward?Read More

Knowledge at Wharton - 11/5/2019
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