Courses & Programs

Introduction to Political Economy [B]



This course will explore the topic of political economy at an introductory level. Political economy is the study of economic systems, institutions, and outcomes from the perspective of who gains and loses. In other words, political economy explores how distribution and power affect economic outcomes. This course provides a survey of the history of political economy: Adam Smith's advocacy of free markets; Karl Marx's critiques of capitalism, and Keynes's ideas to bring capitalist economies out of the Great Depression, to name a few. Additionally, this course takes a critical look at American capitalism from contrasting theoretical perspectives, exploring how the interaction of political, social, and cultural forces impacts economic relationships. This allows for the development of a broader and more sophisticated perspective on how the American economy actually works, why it doesn't always work, who it works for and against, and why it changes over time. The course will also help students acquire a basic literacy in economics, by examining relevant concepts from microeconomics, macroeconomics, and international trade.