PSC 2339: Comparative Political Economy

Course Description

This is a survey course in comparative political economy, a field of inquiry within the subfield of comparative politics that explores the interaction of politics and the economy. Comparative political economy is one of the most active research fields in comparative politics and is comprised of a wide range of research topics. Frequently the focus of research in comparative political economy is on how institutions influence economic outcomes. How, for example, do property rights facilitate investment and economic growth? How dodifferent colonial legaciesinhibitor promote economic performance? Sometimes, however, institutions become the dependent variable in our analysis. Howdoes wealth influence regime stability? Or how does economicglobalization affect welfare states? This course will address questions like these through an exploration of relevant literature. The syllabus emphasizes current research agendas in political economy, and its main goal is to provide students with a broad overview of contemporary debates in the field.

Learning Objectives

Students in this course should strive to meet the following objectives:

  1. Demonstrate a basic familiarity with the field of comparative political economy.
  2. Leverage differences between countries or regions to analyze the effects of institutions on economic outcomes and vice-versa.
  3. Demonstrate how historical legacies shape contemporary political and economic outcomes.
  4. Discern basic differences in institutional and economic structures shape how countries interact with the global economy.

Course Requirements

  1. Two exams (30% each)
  2. Report and presentation (25%)
  3. Quizzes (10%)
  4. Participation (5%)