This module introduces a number of approaches to understanding the relationship between politics and economics, the state and markets. The module focuses on different perspectives on, and key concepts in, political economy, as emphasised or challenged in major works in the field. The themes which the module looks at include (i) the role of class and interests, (ii) culture and the economy, (iii) the embeddedness of markets, (iv) markets versus hierarchy, (v) the role of institutions, and (vi) the distribution of capital.
Within each theme, we will discuss key contributions to the different approaches, including works by Smith, Marx, Weber, Keynes, Polanyi, Hayek, Olson, Ostrom, and Piketty. We will focus on the main arguments of these authors, their underlying assumptions, their methodology, and their contribution to our understanding of the field. We will also link the (modern) classics to contemporary applications of the different approaches.
*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.
Dr Christel Koop
and Dr John Meadowcroft
Module assessment - more information
2-hour examination (45%), 2,500-word essay (45%), Attendance & Participation (10%)