Political Sociology and Political Economy

Academic Year: 
Course Description: 

This is a doctoral seminar building on the comparative politics, political economy and political theory MA courses.

Part I acquaints studetns with the most important current topics and concepts of comparative political economy, as a distninct branch of political economy. Classes cover some most important theoretical approaches about the role of socio-political structures and institutions on economic development and about the linkages between political and economic institutions.

Part II discusses basic questions in political sociology mostly focusing on the holders of power and the way power is exercised in a society. In this seminar, sociological analysis is applied to the political field, and attention is paid to social determinants and sources of political power, state formation, theories of the state, political and economic elites. The relationship between political transformation and elite change will also be discussed, just as the structure vs agency debate. 

Learning Outcomes: 

During the course students enhance their capacity of critical thinking and ability to express their own opinions. They are expected to learn how to analyze and interpret political processes and political behavior from sociological and political economic perspectives and, at the same time, understand the political impact on social and economic structures on citizens social and labor market position and their attitudes, aspirations and values.


Since this is a reading seminar, students are expected to do the reading thoroughly before the class meeting for which it is assigned, and to participate actively in class meetings. Seminars are based on close reading of the texts and active participation of students to ensure lively group discussion on each topic. Classes are designed to be highly interactive and to give students a chance to develop their oral and written ability to marshal analytical arguments concerning issues at hand.

Students will be asked to give shorter presentations on selected readings in order to introduce the topic for further discussion. Presenters are expected to write a short handout for others by the beginning of the class. 

- activity (in-class participation + weekly written questions and comments)        2 x 10 = 20 %
- in class presentation, handout                                                                                   2 x 15 = 30 %
- mid-term exams in-class, closed book                                                                      2 x 25 = 50 %