Political Economy II: Core Issues and Conceptual Frameworks in Political Economy

ECTS Credits: 
Academic Year: 
Mandatory Elective
Course Description: 

This course introduces political economy as a particular approach to the study of politics and explores foundational theoretical concepts, explanatory traditions and methodological approaches common in political economy. Political Economy regards income redistribution, taxation, the production of public goods, and other actions of the public sector as determined by a political process simultaneously with the economic process of exchange and production. In this course, we will investigate the connection between public policies and the political forces that shape them. We will attempt to explain why the government behaves as it does and how its behavior influences and is in turn influenced by the behavior of private citizens. We will also investigate the effects of political institutions on political and economic outcomes and assess the relative performance of different political systems. The course also incorporates discussions about key theoretical approaches such as rational choice theory, game theory and historical institutionalism.

Class structure: Most meetings consists of a 15-minute critical presentation by a discussant, followed by an instructor-led structured discussion of key concepts; key arguments; key theoretical and methodological approaches; puzzles & questions; the relevance of the subject matter.
Meetings with a different structure will be announced in due course.

Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of this course, the students are expected to;

  • understand the basic terms in political economy research
  • have sufficient knowledge to apply these concepts in their research
  • to be able to follow and understand the literature related to the subject matter
  • be able to follow theoretical and empirical debates about government policies
  • acquire knowledge of methodologies and assumptions in the study of political economy
  • gain skills for presenting and critically discussing scholarly work by others

Grading and Assessment

All of the students are expected to attend and actively participate in the class discussion. The participation counts for 10% while the presentations make up 20% of your grade for the course. There is also midterm and final paper, which counts for 30% and 40% respectively. The grades won‟t be based on a curve.

Participation: 10%
Presentations: 20%
Midterm Exam: 30%
Final Exam: 40%

The grades will be marked down in case of late submissions, and in case of plagiarism departmental rules apply.

Note on Citing and Referencing

You will be expected to use Harvard style referencing. Please find an extensive citation and referencing guide on the course website: http://ceulearning.ceu.edu/course/view.php?id=4862. At the same time, you are strongly encouraged to use a citation manager software for all your written assignments, in which case you can use Chicago style referencing.

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