Public Choice and Politics
This information is for the 2017/18 session.
Dr Valentino Larcinese
Professor David Soskice
This course is compulsory on the BSc in Government and Economics. This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and History, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
Students will normally be expected to have taken GV101 Introduction to the Study of Politics, or equivalent, in a previous year. An introductory knowledge of economics would be useful.
This course is concerned with positive political economy and public choice theory applied to the study of political conflicts, democratic institutions and public policy. The course covers the main tools for the study of public choice (rational decision-making theory, game theory, social choice theory) and a number of both theoretical and applied topics, including the empirical study of institutions. This course will cover the main topics in positive political economy and institutional public choice. These include: the aggregation of preferences; voting paradoxes and cycles; electoral competition and voting behaviour; the problems of and solutions to collective action; welfare state and redistribution; the impact of information and mass media on voting behaviour and public policy; the theory of coalitions, the behaviour of committees and legislatures including agenda-setting and veto-player power; principal-agent problems in politics; models of bureaucracy.
10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.
There will be reading week in Week 6 of both terms.
Students will complete at least one formative essay and at least one timed essay in each term to allow practise on problem sets and essay writing under exam conditions.
P Dunleavy, Democracy, Bureaucracy and Public Choice; D Mueller, Public Choice III; K A Shepsle & M S Bonchek, Analyzing Politics; George Tsebelis, Veto Players. Major Works; A Downs, An Economic Theory of Democracy; M Olson, The Logic of Collective Action; W Niskanen, Bureaucracy and Representative Government.
Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
GENERAL COURSE STUDENTS ONLY:
The Class Summary Grade for General Course students will be calculates as follows: 25% formative essay (best mark), 25% timed essay (best mark), 50% class participation (including presentations and attendance).
Student performance results
(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Total students 2016/17: 87
Average class size 2016/17: 18
Capped 2016/17: No
Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)
Value: One Unit
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Commercial awareness
- Specialist skills