Theories and Approaches to Political Economy (Revision 2)
What is the relationship between politics and economics? How has the relationship changed over time? What is the ideal relationship between politics and economics, states and markets, democracy and capitalism? These are some of the fundamental questions of the field of political economy.
The fundamental concepts and questions of political economy are introduced to students as they read the works of major political and economic thinkers. The course surveys the market system from its foundation in the thought of Aristotle and Khaldun to its nineteenth and twentieth century exponents and critics, including Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes. Most importantly, the course acquaints students with more contemporary approaches such as feminism, anti-racism and environmental political economy.
Theories and Approaches to Political Economy encourages students to cultivate a greater appreciation of the relationship between politics and economics, and how the integration of the two has produced the distinctive tradition of political economy. It explains the interdependence of political and ideological issues of power and the allocation of resources with economic problems such as unemployment, poverty, and inflation. This course should appeal to all students who want a basic course on the fundamental questions concerning the relationship between politics and economics.
Course Learning Objectives
- Compare and contrast various theories of political economy
- Explain the relationship between pre-capitalist and capitalist societies
- Apply abstract theoretical concepts of political economy to contemporary issues
- Develop analytical and writing skills
- Explain how political economy has been transformed over the last two centuries
- Identify key issues and concerns pertaining to the future of capitalism
The course consists of the following ten units.
- Unit 1: What Is Political Economy? Background and Context
- Unit 2: Ancient and Mercantilist Foundations
- Unit 3: Smith, Ricardo and Malthus
- Unit 4: Marx and Early Marxian Approaches to Political Economy
- Unit 5: Marginalist Economics: The Utilitarianism of Jevons, Menger and Walras
- Unit 6: Economic Sociology: Weber, Schumpeter and Galbraith
- Unit 7: Thorstein Veblen and John Maynard Keynes
- Unit 8: The Rise of Neoliberalism: The Austrian and Chicago Schools
- Unit 9: Intersectional Analysis
- Unit 10: The Revival of Critical Political & the Future of Capitalism
To receive credit for POEC 302, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a mark of at least 50 per cent on the final research assignment, and obtain a course composite grade of at least "D" (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:
|TME 1||TME 2||TME 3||Final Research Assignment||Total|
To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.
Hunt, E. K., & Lautzenheiser, M. (2011.) History of economic thought: A critical perspective. 3rd ed. New York: M. E. Sharpe.
Heilbroner, Robert L. (1999). The worldly philosophers: The lives, times, and ideas of the great economic thinkers. Revised 7th ed. New York: Simon & Schuster.
All other course materials are found online and include a study guide, a student manual, and a reader.
The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.
Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.
Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form
Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.
Opened in Revision 2, June 17, 2013.
View previous version.
Updated May 26 2016 by Student & Academic Services