PP411A      Half Unit
Political Entrepreneurship

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Valerio Riavez


This course is available on the Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-Columbia), Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-Sciences Po), Double Master of Public Administration (LSE-University of Toronto), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in Data Science for Public Policy, Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

This course will offer a unique opportunity to students who have a passion for politics and don’t know where to direct it. In the last decade electoral start-ups, new forms of activism, and disruptive political technologies have completely reshaped the international political landscape. Having an impact through politics today requires an understanding of entrepreneurship and of digital technologies, and the mastery of the basic unit of politics: electoral campaigning.

Throughout the course, students will be introduced to frameworks drawn from multiple disciplines ranging from management to political science, from communication to grassroots organizing, from data analytics to leadership, enabling them to understand how modern politics works and what it takes to enter the political arena. The students will draw from first-hand examples of the most disruptive political endeavours of the decade, and will readily apply their learnings to a campaign of their choosing, for which they will be asked to craft a strategy memo and an action plan, dedicating a special focus on the use of data and new technologies.


This course is delivered through a combined lecture-seminar format totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Autumn Term. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a short, 2-page business memo to present the campaign they chose, and to flag any potential barriers to the delivery of their final campaign strategy memo. 

Indicative reading

  • McNamara, M - The political campaign desk reference.
  • Haidt, J - The righteous mind
  • Westen, D - The political brain
  • Cialdini, R.B. - Influence: the psychology of persuasion
  • Issenberg, S - The victory lab
  • Ignatieff, M - Fire and ashes
  • Mayer-Schoneberger, V. and Cukier, K. - Big Data
  • Lindstrom, M - Small Data
  • Ganz, M - Leading change
  • McAlevey, J - No shortcuts


Project (30%) and memo (60%) in the AT.
Class participation (10%).

Project (30%): a short memo highlighting early elements of campaign strategy, including targeting, staffing and tasks timeline.

Memo (60%): a strategy memo of approximately 5,000 words, where students outline the main features of their campaign strategy, expanding on the first memo and including messaging, field, and digital

These two assessments and the formative assessment will revolve around a political campaign of the student's choosing.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills