Not available in 2018/19
GV4C5      Half Unit
Politics of Economic Policy

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey CON6.05


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in EU Politics, MSc in EU Politics (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy, MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Public Policy and Administration and Master of Public 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 applications will be 1:00 pm, Friday 29 September, 2017. You will be informed of the outcome by 12 noon, on Monday 2 October 2017. 

Course content

This course provides an advanced policy-oriented analysis of the politics of economic policymaking in advanced industrialized 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 financial stability and financial crises, independent central banking, as well as trade policy (contemporary and classic case studies), and economic aspects of Brexit.


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, financial stability and financial crises, trade and Brexit. 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 the MT.

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

(2014/15 - 2016/17 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 21.7
Merit 63.8
Pass 13
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2017/18: 15

Average class size 2017/18: 15

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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