Political Sociology and Political Economy

Course Description: 

This is a four credit PhD course designed to help students who are interested in the intersections between political science, sociology and political economy. The political sociology section of the course focuses on six major subjects: 1. the development of the modern state and its social functions, 2. the structure of political power, with a special focus on debates between elitist and pluralist approaches, 3. the components of political culture and the configuration of political attitudes, 4. movements and political participation, including the analysis of populism 5. social factors behind political loyalties and the evolution of political cleavages, 6. religion and mass political behavior.

Closely following key topics in political sociology, the political economy section of the course highlights core theories and key concepts in political economy focusing on four major questions:

1. What role is played by public power in bringing about and developing modern capitalism?

2. Why do markets need rules, why do freer markets need more and growing complex rules?

3. Why are these rules continuously contested, what are the key stakes in the contestation from the perspective of social and economic development?

4. What role do democratic institutions play in the shaping of the characteristics of markets and how does the transnationalization of the markets alter the interplay between democracy and capitalism?