Department of Political Science


POLS0041 Politics of Economic Policy in Post-Industrial Democracies

Course Code: POLS0041

Course Tutor: TBC

Length: One Term (Spring Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours

Assessment: Two 1,500 word essays, a 250 word group poster and 4 min/500 word group presentation weighted 30%/30%/25%/15%

Credits: 15 credits/4 US Credits/7.5 ECTS Credits

Level: L6 (Advanced)

economic policy; inequality; austerity; redistribution; advanced industrial democracies

About this course

This course introduces students to the study of comparative political economy: the politics of economic policy-making in WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich, democratic) countries. The course surveys topics, theories, and methods on the interplay of politics and economics across the advanced democracies, with two primary goals:

  • to understand variation in economic policies and performance;
  • to better understand the causes and the consequences of this variation.

The course will focus on three core topics in CPE: institutions and economic growth, macroeconomic policy-making, and inequality and redistribution.

At the end of this course students will:

  • have a general understanding of similarities and differences in economic policies and performance across countries, especially among the advanced industrial democracies;
  • understand political and economic motives for economic policy choices, and how they interact;
  • be familiar with a range of analytical approaches, concepts and techniques that facilitate understanding the interplay between economics and politics.

This is an advanced level course for which it is recommended that students have prior preparation in the form of:

  • a previous course in political science which includes a comparative politics component and essay writing (e.g. Comparative Politics, Introduction to Political Science, and/or Public Policy at UCL)
  • a previous course in the social sciences which introduces and/or uses statistical analyses and evidence
  • a basic understanding of economics.