GV322      Half Unit
Knowledge Economies: Global Innovation Networks and Segregated Societies

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

David Soskice


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

This course is capped at one group. The deadline for enrolments is 12:00 noon on Friday 4 October 2019.

Course content

The course will focus on the advanced economies and seek to analyse the question, “Will the Knowledge Economy succeed in building  innovative, cosmopolitan and integrated societies? Or will they succumb (i) to populism, protectionism and educational and cultural segregation; and/or (ii) to large-scale occupational elimination via AI and robotics without effective retraining and upgrading; and/or (iii) to further financial crises and secular stagnation; and/or (iv) to the ‘end of innovation’? In all of the above will advanced economies evolve in different ways/varieties?”

Week 1: Advanced capitalist democracies: Big questions.

Week 2: Technological regimes, Fordism and the ICT revolution; varieties of advanced capitalism; national system of innovation.

Week 3: Changing returns to skills, organisations and locations; knowledge-based multinational networks.

Week 4: Knowledge economies; successful knowledge-intensive cities and left-behind communities; deindustrialisation; high-skilled immigration and FDI; gender revolution.

Week 5: Changing framework rules.

Interpreting liberalism, globalisation, monetary policy and mass HE.

Week 7: City regions: successful cities and left-behind communities.

Week 8: Macroeconomics I: Global imbalances; financial crisis; knock on effects of Great Recession (but no Depression).

Week 9: Macroeconomics II: Secular stagnation, fall in innovation and labor productivity growth.

Week 10: Reconfiguring politics I: decline of social dem; rise of populism, but also city electorates/ culture &/or interests.

Week 11: Reconfiguring politics II: Inequality, poverty, segregation; democratic limits on redistribution; redefined welfare state; city-regional government; problems and possibilities of AI and robotics.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT.

2 hour lecture/seminar for whole class each week

3 x 1 hour tutorial-style classes each week for 5 students 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 piece of coursework in the MT.

As formative coursework, students will be asked to submit an outline and bibliography in preparation for their summative essay.

Indicative reading

• Florida, The Rise of the Creative Class (Revised), 2014 Basic Books

• Carlin and Soskice, Macroeconomics: Institutions, Instability and the Financial System, 2015 OUP (pdf)

• Hall and Soskice, Varieties of Capitalism (Introduction), 2001 OUP (pdf)

• Brynjolfsson and McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies, 2014 Norton

• Bayoumi, Unfinished Business, 2017 Yale UP

• Beramendi, Hausermann, Kitschelt, Kriesi, The Politics of Advanced Capitalism (selected chaps), 2016 CUP

• Streeck, How will Capitalism End? 2016 Verso

• Vox EU, Secular Stagnation: Facts, Causes, Cures, 2014 CEPR

• Iversen and Soskice, Resilience and Reconstruction: Advanced Capitalist Democracies in a Turbulent Century, forthcoming Princeton UP (pdf)


Project (100%, 5000 words) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2018/19: 15

Average class size 2018/19: 5

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills