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Comparative Political Economy

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Course overview #

The course covers key theoretical approaches in the field of Comparative Political Economy (CPE), including for instance the ‘varieties of capitalism’ approach as well as constructivist and critical political economy theories. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of these theoretical approaches they are discussed in relation to concrete advanced industrialised economies.

The course takes both a synchronic and a diachronic comparative perspective on national economic systems, and focuses for instance on how various external pressures upon such systems are mediated by domestic actors and on how welfare states have been transformed. Moreover, various concrete policy areas and topics of relevance to state-business relations are dealt with in a comparative perspective.

The course shares its exam with Philosophy of Social Science. Students write a project report in groups. The project report applies CPE theory in an empirically grounded comparative analysis with a view to answering a clear and relevant research question formulated by the group. The project report should justify theoretical choices and account for methods, data and philosophy of science assumptions. It forms the basis of an oral group exam.