Concepts in Political Economy

Academic Year: 
Course Description: 

The course is an introduction to contemporary political economy, both as an application of economic paradigms for explaining political phenomena and as a discipline focusing on the links between politics and economics. To put it differently, in one way or another the entire course will concentrate on two fundamental questions from various aspects:

How and to what extent do societal agents act rationally, and what are the societal consequences of such behaviour?

How and to what extent do (political) institutions affect behaviour and thus economic performance?

During the course students will acquaint with different alternative theories, concepts, and methodological approaches concentrating on these questions.

The course consists of 24 (2 per week) classes. Every week the first class is an interactive lecture while the second one is a seminar that requires active students’ participation.

Learning Outcomes: 

Students will be acquainted with the basic concepts and paradigms of contemporary political economy. The acquired knowledge will enable them to pursue individual research on various topics of political economic nature and choose the appropriate ones among various alternative analytical approaches.



Students are required to attend classes regularly and to participate actively in course discussions.
Students are expected to formulate written comments and questions about the literature. These short comments and questions will serve as basis for seminar discussions, and are to be submitted via e-mail by 8 pm preceding the day of the seminar.
Students will write brief (40 minutes) written tests at the end of Week 4 and 8 covering the previous 3 or 4 topics.
Students will write an in-class closed-book final exam during the last class.
During the course all students – to introduce seminar discussions - make a short presentation on a piece of compulsory literature (or on something else, if agreed with the instructor).

Written questions and comments: 10 %
In-class participation 10 %
In-class presentation 10 %
2 short tests: 2 x 15 %
Final exam: 40 %