GV441      Half Unit
States and Markets

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr David Woodruff


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global 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 as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


This course is capped at 2 groups. Priority will be given to MSc Comparative Politics students. The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Tuesday 1 October 2019. You will be informed of the outcome by 17:00 on Wednesday 2 October 2019.

Course content

To introduce politics students to basic economic theorising; to discuss the nature of markets; review contemporary discussions regarding the role of the state in the economy; provide a comparison of the relationship of states and markets in different political settings and historical contexts. Topics: The state and the institutional foundations of markets; states and markets in the Great Depression; domestic and international monetary institutions; varieties of capitalism and change in varieties of capitalism; economics and politics of market bubbles; politics and policy in the financial crisis of 2007-2009; the Eurozone crisis. 


15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT.

There will be a reading week in Week 6 of the MT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to submit one non-assessed essay.

Indicative reading

Block, "The Roles of the State in the Economy." Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. North. Institutions, Institutional Change, and Economic Performance; Gerschenkron. "Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective." Hall and Soskice, "An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism." Lazonick and O'Sullivan. "Maximizing Shareholder Value: A New Ideology for Corporate Governance."


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

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15.7
Merit 62.8
Pass 16.5
Fail 5

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication