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04 June 2020

Students to study COVID-19 as department launches innovative module

An innovative new module focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and political impacts is to be launched at King’s College London.

The political and economic impact of COVID-19 will be studied in the new module
The political and economic impact of COVID-19 will be studied in the new module

Academics in the Department of Political Economy will be launching the module in the next academic year, with students given a unique opportunity to study the political and economic implications of the pandemic and the policies that have shaped the global response.

The module will take a closer look at the historical context of pandemics, the policy process at a time of crisis, the potential economic and health consequences both in the short and long-term, and the wider societal issues that have emerged since the pandemic swept the globe.

Jonathan Portes, professor of economics and public policy, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has already had profound economic and social effects in the UK and globally; its long-term consequences are still unknown but are likely to be seismic.

“Understanding and analysing these impacts, from a wide variety of perspectives, will be essential as the world prepares for a ‘new normal’ that could see lasting changes to every aspect of society - from how we interact with financial systems to how our political systems function.

“This new module will be among the first of its kind in the country and we expect will have broad appeal to students interested in politics, economics, and political economy.”

The department will begin by offering the new module to second-year undergraduates in the next academic year, through a series of lectures and seminars. The module will also draw on the latest research emerging from the crisis.

Incoming head of the Department of Political Economy, Dr Andrew Blick said: “The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health issue, but a social and economic phenomenon. This new module will explore the economics and politics of the pandemic and the policy response in the UK and other countries.

“There will be a particular focus on how and why policy decisions were taken; and on the longer-term implications, which will give our students an in-depth understanding and insight into one of the defining periods of this century.”

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In this story

Jonathan  Portes

Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Andrew  Blick

Head of the Department of Political Economy and Professor of Politics and Contemporary History