This is a PhD course designed to help students who are interested in the intersections between political science and sociology. The course is organized around debates about the readings. Typically, the seminars will start with a general introduction to the topic followed by the discussion based on the readings of the week, usually one reading per seminar. The content of the seminars is flexible, depending on the progress in the class and the character of specific topics.
With the help of the course the student should acquire the ability to 1. understand basic concepts used in the fields of political economy and political sociology; 2. competently discuss key phenomena such as state, political culture, cleavages, capitalism, transnationalization, etc.; 3. analyze political processes from a sociological and an economic angle and to be able to formulate independently generated and theoretically based research questions in these fields; 4. understand major traditional, mainly theoretical approaches in political sociology, as well as be familiar with the more contemporary, approaches.
The position papers are expected to improve the ability to identify the most relevant aspects of a scholarly argument, to establish links between different publications, to discriminate between scholarly and unscholarly arguments, and to channel the knowledge one obtained from sources inside and outside of class-work into the criticism of particular articles. The class activity will center on the readings, helping the students to synthesize information, determine focus points, and discern the main line of argumentation. The obligation to submit an essay will develop the skills to build up a coherent argument.