EU443      Half Unit
European Models of Capitalism

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Abigail Innes CBG.6.03


This course is available on the 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 China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Human Resources and Organisations (International Employment Relations and Human Resource Management), MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Public Administration and Government (LSE and Peking University), MSc in Public Policy and Administration and MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students on the MSc in Global Politics who wish to take this course must seek approval from the teachers responsible. Students are required to obtain permission from the teaching department to take this course.

Course content

The course consists of three parts. In the first part we will discuss the basic arguments and methodological considerations of the Varieties of Capitalism literature and conduct a comparative analysis of the core issue areas in the political economy of contemporary capitalism: how capital, labour and product markets are structured. The second part will build on these thematic treatments to discuss the structure of and dynamics of the main Western, Southern and Central European models of capitalism. In the final part of the course we consider the various critiques of Varieties of Capitalism theory and distinguish VOC from the other main theories of comparative capitalism. We close the course with an application of competing theories of comparative capitalism to the key developmental challenge of our time: climate change.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 27.5 hours across the Michaelmas Term.  This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of recorded lectures, flipped lectures (online discussion of lecture materials), and in-person (or, if School closure demands it, online) seminars.  This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of the Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Students will write a short, 500 word essay every week on a key concept as part of a small group, and the same group will also prepare a presentation on their preferred topic to be presented either online or in person when their week ‘arrives’. Students will also develop their summative essay plan with the teacher late in Michaelmas term and early in Lent term

Indicative reading

Peter A Hall & David Soskice (Eds), Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Competitiveness. Oxford University Press, 2001; Hancké, Bob, Martin Rhodes and Mark Thatcher (eds.) 2007. Beyond Varieties of Capitalism: Conflict, contradiction and complementarities in the European Economy. (Oxford UP 2007) (henceforth HRT); Crouch, Colin, Capitalist Diversity and Change, Oxford University Press, 2005; Hancké, Bob (ed.), 2009, Debating Varieties of Capitalism: A Reader, Oxford UP. Wolfgang Streeck, (2011) E Pluribus Unum? Varieties and Commonalities of Capitalism, MPifG Discussion Paper No. 10/12; Natasha van der Zwan (2014) Making sense of financialization, Socio Economic Review, 12: 99-129; Kathleen Thelen, (2014) Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity, Cambridge University Press; Colin Hay (2019) Does Capitalism Still Come in Varieties? Review of International Political Economy, Volume 27, 2020.


Essay (100%, 5000 words) in the LT.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2019/20: 46

Average class size 2019/20: 16

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication