EU491      Half Unit
Political Economy in Theory and History

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Johann Basedow CBG 6.11


This course is compulsory on the MSc in The Global Political Economy of China and Europe (LSE and Fudan). This course is available on the MSc in European Studies (Research), MSc in Political Economy of Europe and MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course aims to provide a comprehensive coverage and analytical understanding of the evolution of the political economies of Europe within the context of the process of European integration. The course tries to understand how the relation between state and economy in both Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe has evolved over the post-war period. We look at how capitalism and democracy were reconciled in different European socio-economic models and what role European integration played in their evolution.


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 the Michaelmas Term. 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 1 essay in the MT.

Indicative reading

  • Blyth M. (2013) Austerity: the History of a Dangerous Idea, Oxford: OUP [esp. ch’s 1-3, an engaging and controversial book on a big question of our times]
  • Dinan, D. (2014): Europe Recast: A History of the European Union, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd ed. [JN30 D58 Course Coll.]. [a historical account of the beginnings that makes for a really good read]
  • Dinan D. (2010), Ever Closer Union: an introduction to European integration, Palgrave MacMillan (4th edition) [Course collection HC241.2 D58]
  • Durlauf S. and Blume L. (eds) (2008+), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online [see for instance entries by De Grauwe on monetary union, Gaspar and Issing on ECB monetary policy, Pelkmans on the single market, Swinbank on the CAP, etc.]
  • Hall P. and Soskice D. (eds.) (2001): Varieties of Capitalism: The institutional foundations of competitiveness. Oxford University Press. [Introduction, a key text on the different combinations of institutions we find in European economies, an effective riposte to the claim that we all have to become the same because of globalisation]
  • Hancké B., Rhodes M. and Thatcher M. (eds), (2007), Beyond Varieties of Capitalism: Conflict, Contradictions, and Complementarities in the European Economy, Oxford University Press.
  • Hay C. and Wincott D. (2012) The Political Economy of European Welfare Capitalism, Basingstoke: Palgrave [an up-to-date version of the comparative institutional analysis of Hall and Soskice, including the welfare state]
  • Hemerijck A. (2012) Changing Welfare States, Oxford: OUP [Full of policy ideas on the welfare state]
  • Majone, G. (2014) Rethinking the Union of Europe Post-Crisis: Has Integration gone too far?, Cambridge: CUP [One of the leading contributors to understanding of the trajectory of European integration raises awkward questions about the limits of integration]
  • Wiener, Antje, and Thomas Diez. European Integration Theory. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

The online assessment for this course will be administered via Moodle.  Questions will be made available at a set date/time and students will be given a set period in the ST to complete the answers to questions and upload their responses back into Moodle.

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: 76

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