EU469      Half Unit
The Political Economy of Finance in Europe

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Waltraud Schelkle CBG 6.01


This course is available on the MSc in Political Economy of Europe, MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po) 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.


A basic understanding of economics and economic terms is highly recommended. Students who never had any teaching in economics should consult the online course EU409 and talk to the course convener.

Course content

In the first half, the course gives students insights into the post-war evolution of finance, its regulation and its relationship to the other sectors of the economy. The historical evolution, continuities and innovations, will be explored in a comparative perspective. In the second half, we take up topical debates in the political economy of finance literature. Two questions run through the course: first, how does the international experience differ from or resonate with discernible trends in European countries and the experience of European integration? And how do non-financial actors (governments, transnational firms, middle-class households) support the rise of finance even though the risks involved are not well understood and hard to manage? The course would deepen students’ understanding of the core courses in the Political Economy of Europe by making them aware of the role that finance played in different phases of post-war history and in European integration. 


  • This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 27.5 hours across 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 a School closure demands it, online) seminars.
  • This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.
  • We do a simulation of G-20 negotiations on financial regulation in week 10, which has been successfully tried and tested before with MPA students. Using the report of the G20 Eminent Persons Group report on Global Financial Governance – Making the Global Financial Systems Work for All – the simulation will see students working in teams to represent the interests of particular nations and international organisations involved in global financial governance.
  • A review session will be held at the start of the Summer Term to prepare for the online assessment.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce one (1200 word) essay in the MT.

Students must write up two 500 word answers to a question that follows from the lecture in the MT.

Indicative reading

  • Abdelal, Ravi (2007). Capital rules. The construction of global finance. Cambridge, MA and London, England: Harvard University Press
  • Epstein, Rachel A. (2017). Banking on markets: the transformation of bank-state ties in Europe and beyond Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Kindleberger, Charles P., & Aliber, RobertZ. (2011). Manias, panics and crashes. A history of financial crises (6th ed.). Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (selected chapters)
  • Krippner, Greta R. (2005). The financialization of the American economy. Socio-economic review, 3(2), 173-208.
  • MacKenzie, Donald A. (2006). An engine, not a camera: how financial models shape markets. Cambridge, Mass., London: MIT Press.
  • Reinhart, Carmen M., & Sbrancia, M. Belen (2015). Debt Liquidation. Economic Policy (April), 291-333.
  • Story, John, & Walter, Ingo (1997). Political economy of financial integration in Europe: the battle of the systems. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Woll, Cornelia (2014). The power of inaction: bank bailouts in comparison. Ithaca: Cornell University Press (selected case studies)


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

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: 44

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness