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The Political Economy Of The Financial Crisis (Module)

Module description

Please note that module information is indicative and may change year to year.

The 2008 Global Financial Crisis emerged from the American subprime mortgage market and contagion spread throughout closely connected international financial markets. The severe economic costs and political consequences of the crisis have cast a long shadow over the global political economy. However, understanding the crisis and its consequences is far from straightforward, and requires a careful consideration of historical events and competing analytical frameworks as offered by this module. The concluding sessions draw on such understandings to assess current crisis management at the global and national level.

Module aims

To disseminate systematic understanding of historically informed analytical debates about the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis;

To highlight the concrete application of such understanding for the assessment of financial crisis management and future scenarios of world order development.

Learning outcomes

When students have completed this module, they should:

Be able to identify, compare and assess competing analytical frameworks for understanding financial crises;

Be able to compare and assess competing interpretations of the causes and consequences of the Global Financial Crisis that arise from such analytical frameworks;

Be able to apply such analytical understanding in independent research into a central aspect of the financial crisis or financial crisis management.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

Two hours per week, one lecture and one seminar 

Indicative teaching schedule

PART I – History and competing theories

Week 1: Economic policies and structural features prior to the 2007-8 crisis: neoliberalism, financialisation and global imbalances
Week 2: Subprime mortgages and the eruption of the crisis in the US
Week 3: Mainstream interpretations of the crisis
Week 4: Keynesian interpretations of the crisis
Week 5: Marxist interpretations of the crisis

PART II – From financial to Eurozone crisis

Week 6: The crisis travels to Europe: the causes of the crisis in the Eurozone
Week 7: Crisis management in the Eurozone: from expansionary policies and bank bailouts to austerity and internal devaluation
Week 8: The Eurozone’s institutional design: bringing in the role of political agency

PART III – The Global South and political alternatives

Week 9: The Global South in the global crisis: mechanisms of transmission and crisis management
Week 10: Political alternatives in times of crisis

Note that this teaching schedule is indicative and subject to change. 

Module assessment - more information

One 1,500-word review essay (15%), one assessed presentation (15%) and one 3,000-word research essay (70%)

Key information

Module code 7AAOM223

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework presentation/s

Credit value 20

Semester Semester 1 (autumn)

Study abroad module Yes