GV481      Half Unit
Political Science and Political Economy

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Torun Dewan


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Political Science and Political Economy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Open to all MSc students in the Department of Government.

Course content

The objective of the course is to provide an introduction to political science and the ways in which it illuminates the political and policy processes of advanced liberal democratic states. The course focuses mainly on institutional public choice and positive political economy.

Theory of voting and party competition; collective action and interest groups; coalition theory and log-rolling; bureaucracy and economic approaches to organizations.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Two problem sets to be submitted in week 5 and 9 of the MT. Two additional optional problem sets can also be submitted in weeks 3 and 7 of MT.

Indicative reading

D. Mueller: Public Choice III; T. Persson and G. Tabellini: Political Economics; T. Besley: Principled Agents?


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.3
Merit 23.3
Pass 46.5
Fail 14

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2012/13: 26

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication