Politics of Money, Finance and Trade in Comparative Perspective

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey CON6.05


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History and BSc in Politics and Philosophy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is not available to General Course students.

This course is not normally available to General Course students, unless they can demonstrate adequate background knowledge. The course is capped and only available as an outside option to non-Government students when there is space.  Students who take this course will not be permitted to take GV390 Government Essay Option. This course is capped at one group. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 11 October 2013.


Students should have background in political economy and/or public policy.

Course content

The course focuses on the role of institutions, ideas and interests in the process and formulation of three key areas of economic policy - i.e., (1) monetary policy, (2) financial stability and regulation, and (3) trade policy. We examine the causal influences of institutions, ideas and interests in monetary policy, finance and trade, focusing predominantly on developed countries. We draw on theories from economics and political science and analyze these using both historical and contemporary examples, and do so from a comparative perspective, rather than an international relations perspective. The primary focus of the course is on actual policy outcomes, which gives rise to the second portion of the course - namely the research dissertation. For this dissertation, we provide intensive supervision in assisting students to (1) design a scientific research question related to money, finance or trade, (2) compile appropriate data to test hypotheses which derive from the question, and (3) propose methods for analyzing the data. Students may employ either quantitative or qualitative methods for their research dissertation. Previous knowledge of statistical methods is assumed; however, some students may opt to acquire more specialist knowledge of textual analysis software, and the fundamentals for this will be provided in this course.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of lectures, 12 hours of seminars and 6 hours of classes in the LT.

Formative coursework

One formative essay, based on the outline for students' research dissertation, in Michaelmas Term.

Indicative reading

C. Schonhardt-Bailey (2006) From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas and Institutions in Historical Perspective. MIT Press.

Hiscox, Michael. (2002) International Trade and Political Conflict, Princeton University Press

F. McGillivray, Privileging Industry: The Comparative Politics of Trade and Industrial Policy (Princeton, 2004)

Blinder, A., The Quiet Revolution: Central Banking Goes Modern (Yale Univ Press, 2004)

Charles Kindleberger, Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises (Wiley, 5th edn. 2005, 1st edn. 1978);

C. Schonhardt-Bailey & A. Bailey, Deliberating American Monetary Policy: A Textual Analysis, (MIT Press, 2013);

Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly (Princeton Univ. Press, 2009);

Martin Wolf, Fixing Global Finance (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008).


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2012/13: 15

Average class size 2012/13: 11

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills