The Economics of Politics
This module aims to provide you with the skills to critically evaluate and apply rational choice approaches as an analytical tool for the examination of political phenomena. First, it discusses the underlying assumptions and their theoretical and empirical implications for political analyses. Second, the seminar will make you familiar with core approaches introducing economic reasoning in the conceptualisation and in the analysis of politics. Third, it will introduce you to the applications of rational choice theory in comparative politics.
Full module specification
|Module title:||The Economics of Politics|
|Duration of module:||
Duration (weeks) - term 1: |
This module aims at providing you with the skills to critically evaluate and apply rational choice approaches as an analytical tool for the examination of political phenomena. First, it discusses the underlying assumptions and their theoretical and empirical implications for political analyses. Second, the seminar makes you familiar with core approaches introducing economic reasoning in the conceptualisation and in the analysis of politics. Third, it introduces applications of rational choice theory in comparative politics.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. understand core concepts in rational choice theory;
- 2. describe and analyse the connections and relationships between economics and politics;
- 3. critically engage with concrete applications of rational choice theory;
- 4. describe, list and assess the core works in comparative politics using rational choice theory;
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 5. translate a particular logic of reasoning from one discipline (economics) to another (politics);
- 6. apply abstract theoretical ideas and concepts to actual events and outcomes;
- 7. construct well-structured rigorous arguments that are based on logical deduction;
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 8. deliver presentations to peers, communicate effectively in speech and writing;
- 9. appropriately use ICT
- 10. research & critically evaluate information;
- 11. apply techniques and theories in appropriate contexts;
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity||16.5||11 x 1.5 hour lectures|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching activity||10||10 x 1 hour tutorials|
|Guided Independent study||123.5||Independent study|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Discussion in lectures and tutorials||During lectures and tutorials||1-7, 10-11||Verbal|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Examination||70||1 hour and 30 minutes||1-8, 10-11||Written|
|ELE -based tests on the readings||30||1-11||Written|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Examination||Examination (1 hour and 30 minutes)||1-8, 10-11||August/September assessment period|
|ELE -based tests on the readings||ELE-based tests on the readings||1-11||August/September assessment period|
1. Rational Choice as Analytical Tool: Basic Assumptions and Standard Criticisms
2. Economic Conceptualisations of Democracy
3. Political Participation
4. The Paradox of Voting
5. Game Theory: Models of Cooperation and Coordination
6. Collective Action Problems
7. Principal-Agent Theory
8. Rational Choice Institutionalisms
9. Models of Government Formation
10. Bureaucratic Politics
11. Review Session
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Please be aware that due to a new lecturer running this course this year, we are expecting some changes to the Reading List.
- Laver, Michael (1997): Private Desires, Political Action, An Invitation to the Politics of Rational Choice. London: Sage.
- Downs, Anthony (1957): An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.
- Hardin, Russell (1982): Collective Action, Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins UP.
- Strøm, Kaare (1990): Minority Government and Majority Rule. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
- Riker, William (1962): The Theory of Political Coalitions. New Haven: Yale UP.
Module has an active ELE page?
Last revision date