GV4C5      Half Unit
Politics of Economic Policy

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey CON6.05


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in EU Politics, MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University) and MSc in Public Policy and Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

It is capped at 1 group, and is approved by process of application. The deadline for enrolments will be 12 noon, on Monday, 3 October 2016. You will be informed of the outcome by 12 noon, on Wednesday 5 October 2016. 

Course content

This course provides an advanced policy-oriented analysis of the politics of economic policymaking in advanced industrialized countries and selected developing countries drawing on both contemporary, historical and comparative introduction into the politics of economic policy. It applies explicitly the frameworks of interests-based, ideational and institutional approaches to the study of economic policies. It seeks to explore both the independent and interactive effects of interests, ideas and institutions on economic policies. These policies include macroeconomic policy areas such as EMU, financial stability and financial crises, independent central banking, as well as trade policy (contemporary and classic case studies), and agricultural policy. Thus, the course examines some of the economic policies of the European Union, other advanced industrialized countries and developing countries.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

Early weeks present the theoretical frameworks of interests, ideas and institutions, as applied to the politics of economic policymaking more generally. The remaining weeks focus on specific economic policies, including independent central banking, EMU financial stability and financial crises, trade, agricultural policy. Three of the course lectures will be given jointly with the undergraduate course, Politics of Money and Finance in Comparative Perspective (GV309).

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the MT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to submit one formative essay in week 6.

Indicative reading

C. Reinhart & K. Rogoff, This Time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly, Princeton University Press, 2009; C. Schonhardt-Bailey, From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas and Institutions in Historical Perspective, MIT Press, 2006; C. Schonhardt-Bailey & A. Bailey, Deliberating American Monetary Policy: A Textual Analysis, MIT Press, 2013; F McGillivray, Privileging Industry: The Comparative Politics of Trade and Industrial Policy, Princeton, 2004; Alan S Blinder, Central Banking in Theory and Practice, Cambridge, MIT Press, 1998; Kathleeen R McNamara, Currency of Ideas: Monetary Politics in the European Union, Cornell University, 1998; A D Sheingate, The Rise of the Agricultural Welfare State: Institutions and Interest Group Power in the United States, France, and Japan, Princeton University Press, 2001; A. S. Blinder, After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead (Penguin 2013); M King, The End of Alchemy, Little Brown, 2016.


Essay (90%, 5000 words) and in class assessment (10%).

10 % in-class seminar presentation; 90 % essay (5000 words), 

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.9
Merit 59.7
Pass 20.8
Fail 2.6

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: 26

Average class size 2015/16: 13

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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