Course description

The State and the Market: Core Concepts in Political Economy


This is a political economy course that focuses on business and politics at the national level. The course covers several fundamental core concepts in political economy relating to the operation of the state and the market. The central themes include political and market institutions, the rationale for market regulation and public services, decision making and resource allocation, and the deliverance of public and private goods.

Course content

  1. Introduction to political economy and the state-market relationship
  2. Market failures, state failures and the supply of public, private and strategic goods
  3. Political and market institutions, decision-making, lobbying, and public choice analysis
  4. Public services, the welfare state, privatization, liberalization and modernization
  5. Macroeconomic policy, budgets and the growth and containment of state spending
  6. The relationship between states and markets, democracy and capitalism, the rule of law and economic growth.

Learning outcome knowledge

This course provides students with an introduction to the concepts at the core of political economy in general, in terms of institutions, policymaking, and market regulation. Students will explore problems of democratic decision-making, including questions of equality and efficiency, debates about market failure, government failure and the supply of public, private and strategic goods, and the rules, organizations and policy tools involved in the operation of states and markets. Core questions include institutional design, policymaking, the delegation of power, public service delivery, privatization and regulation, the changing nature of the welfare state, public choice analyses of the growth of state spending, and whether democracy causes or impedes market-driven economic growth.

Exam organisation

  • Written assignment: 100%