UCL European & International Social & Political Studies


UCL European & International Social & Political Studies


ESPS0015 - Political Economy

Course value: 15 credits
Convenor: Dr. Roland Kappe and Dr. Cecilia Lanata Briones
Duration: One term (term 2)
Teaching structure: One hour lecture and one hour seminar
Assessment: 1 assessed essay of 3,000-4,000 words (100%)
Available to: All Years and Affiliates
Module level: Intermediate

Course Description:

The goal of this course is to familiarise students with important concepts and models in Political Economy. The course typically covers basic ideas about social organisation: e..g the problem of cooperation, theories of collective action and the provision of public goods. It may also cover problems of social choice, and fundamental ideas about institutions and institutional change, as well as an introduction to spatial models of political competition. After these foundations, the focus usually shifts towards democratic institutions with a quick tour through topics such as legislative organisation, veto player theory, the effects of electoral rules, and party systems. The last part often looks at problems of delegation and more generally the interplay of politics and the macro-economy. Throughout the module, students are usually exposed to some game theoretic concepts and methods, as well as some basic practical tools to analyse political and economic data. Students are expected to formulate their own research question and write a 3000-4000 word research paper that typically includes an empirical analysis.