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Undergraduate course

Political Economy

Main content

Teaching semester

Spring - irregular

Objectives and Content

www.uib.no/nb/emne/SAMPOL214

SAMPOL214 is a course that provides a rigorous survey of studies in and perspectives on the relationship between the state and the economy under capitalism. Its central theme is that of understanding and contrasting orthodox and heterodox approaches to macroeconomic theory. The readings and topics are drawn from the disciplines of both political science and economics. A wide range of rival methodological, ideological, and theoretical approaches will be studied, with an effort to consider the contemporary relevance of each respective perspective. Part I of the course surveys a range of introductory topics including a historical overview of the discipline, fundamental concepts, and rational choice theory. Part II of the course introduces the key theoretical and policy problems that occupy the attention of macroeconomic theory. A thorough elaboration and comparison of classical/neoclassical and Keynesian theories will set the stage for surveys of monetary and fiscal policy approaches. Part III of the course focuses on the state/market relation, presenting the Phillips Curve and general debates concerning the potential unemployment/inflation trade-off. In addition, we will also cover topics and readings related to the political business cycle, inequality, and social democracy. Part IV moves on to the study of business cycles and economic crises under capitalism, placing particular emphasis upon the 2008 financial crisis, its origins, its aftermath, and its consequences for the distribution of income and political influence, both in the US as well as the EU.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes: 

Knowledge

  • discuss and debate key rival perspectives in macroeconomic theory, including fiscal and monetary policy;
  • demonstrate a familiarity with the history of economic ideas in the twentieth century and their manifestation in public policy;
  • understand and apply rational choice models to key research questions in political science;
  • analyse the sources and consequences of the global economic crisis of 2008.

Skills

  • demonstrate an understanding of formal economic logic, concepts and models and their relevance for political science;
  • assess claims made by politicians, policy makers and researchers concerning the efficacy and consequences of alternative economic policy approaches.

General competence

  • critically analyse and evaluate the ideological and theoretical foundations of alternative economic models and policies and engage in discussions and analyses of the consequences of such models and policies for economic outcomes and social well-being.

Required Previous Knowledge

None

Recommended Previous Knowledge

SAMPOL105, SAMPOL106, SAMPOL107 and SAMPOL115

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

Students may not earn credit for both SAMPOL213 and SAMPOL214.

Access to the Course

Open

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures.

Hours per week: approximately 4

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

None

Forms of Assessment

4-hour final desk examination (60%) + maximum 2000-word mid-term take home examination (3 days) (40%)

Update spring 2021: As part of the measures to limit the risk of corona infection during the spring 2021, the form of assessment will be a 6-hour final take home exam (60%) + maximum 2000 word mid-term take home examination (3 days) (40%).

Grading Scale

Graded A-F  

Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester. Only students who have a valid document of absence will be entitled to take a new written exam the following semester.

Reading List

The reading list will be ready before 1 June for the autumn semester and 1 Decemeber for the spring semester. 

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.  

Course Coordinator

Course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB. 

Course Administrator

The Department of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme. 

Department

Department of Comparative Politics

Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Take home exam and mid term essay

    Withdrawal deadline
    09.02.2021
    • Exam part: Take home exam

      Assignment handed out
      19.05.2021, 09:00
      Submission deadline
      19.05.2021, 15:00
      Examination system
      Inspera
      Digital exam
    • Exam part: Take home examination (essay)

      Assignment handed out
      23.02.2021, 09:00
      Submission deadline
      25.02.2021, 14:00
      Examination system
      Inspera
      Digital exam