EU443      Half Unit
European Models of Capitalism

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Abigail Innes CBG.6.03


This course is available on the 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. 

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 lectures and seminars totalling a minimum of 25 hours across Michaelmas Term. The teaching will be delivered this year through a combination of online and on-campus formats (or if required, online only). This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of 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, Does Capitalism Still Come in Varieties? Review of International Political Economy, Volume 27, 2020. Benjamin Braun, Asset Management Capitalism as Corporate Governance Regime, pre-print, available online 2021


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

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 48

Average class size 2020/21: 16

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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