Home > Study > Summer schools > LSE Summer School > Courses > International Relations, Government and Society > IR102: Capitalism, Democracy and Equality: The Political Economy of the Advanced Nations


IR102: Capitalism, Democracy and Equality: The Political Economy of the Advanced Nations

Session: Two
Prerequisites: None

Dr Jonathan Hopkin
Dr David Woodruff

This course introduces students to the complex and conflictual relationship between democracy and capitalism in the advanced market economies (North America, Europe, Australasia and Japan). The focus of the course is on the different ways in which democratic states have sought to promote economic growth and redistribute resources in favour of different political interests. The course presents some key concepts and theories of comparative political economy, and uses them to compare institutions, policies and outcomes across countries and over time. 

The aim is to understand why some advanced countries have grown faster than others, why some are more unequal than others, why countries have addressed common international pressures in such different ways, and how they have responded to the current crisis. Key areas of enquiry include the growth of the public sector, the structure of the welfare state, the role of electoral and party politics, the politics of monetary and fiscal policy, and the consequences of the current crisis.


Esping-Andersen, Goesta (1990). Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity.
Hall, Peter and David Soskice (eds.) (2001). Varieties of Capitalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Glyn, Andrew (2006). Capitalism Unleashed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Crouch, Colin (2011). The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism. Cambridge: Polity.
Blyth, Mark (2013). Austerity. The History of a Dangerous Idea. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lectures: 36 hours    Classes: 12 hours
Assessment: One assessed essay and one written examination