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.

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?

Knowledge @ Wharton - 11/5/2019
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