EU491      Half Unit
Political Economy in Theory and History

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Johann Basedow CBG 6.11


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 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 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, and 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.]
  • Eichengreen B., The European Economy since 1945: Coordinated Capitalism and Beyond, Princeton University Press.
  • 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]
  • 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.

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: 98

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
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication