Undergraduate courses


L2343: Philosophy of Economic Policy


The Course “Philosophy of Economic Policy” familiarises students with the historical debates over alternative economic paradigms and policies and their historical and philosophical foundations. Questions such as why are some nations richer than others and what should governments do to overcome economic crises are as pressing today as they were a century ago. Indeed, the question “what is the best economic policy” has been asked and debated over centuries, and, as it turns out, policymakers are still guided by ideas and paradigms that were articulated by men and women centuries ago. At the end of this course, the students will have a better knowledge about how our economic and financial world was developed.

PS 1311: West European Politics

 This course introduces students to the study of Western European government and politics. The aim is to equip students with the necessary tools to understand and critically analyse European politics and society. By the end of the course the students are expected to have a deep understanding of the political processes in Western European countries, and to be able to explain political and policy outcomes on the basis of European political institutions.  

PS 0300: Introduction to Comparative Politics

This course introduces students to important concepts, themes and approaches in the comparative study of politics, preparing them to address big questions about politics in the world. Despite its introductory nature, the course familiarises students with formal analytical tools used in political science. 

PS1381: Income Inequality in Europe and the USA

 This senior capstone seminar examines the causes and effects of income inequality in Western European Countries and the United State. During the seminar, the students become familiar with the economic, political and social factors that affect income inequality, as well as with the political, economic and social consequences of income inequality. The seminar covers key arguments and debates about the emergence and the consequences of income inequality, taking into account political and social forces, as well as typologies of welfare states across Western Europe and North America.  

PS1381: Public Policy in Western Europe

 This senior capstone seminar deals with questions of economic decision-making in the parliamentary democracies of Western Europe. The seminar's goal is to equip students with the necessary theoretical tools to analyse and understand economic outcomes in European countries in light of globalisation and economic integration within the European Union. The main focus of the seminar is on the institutional complementarities and political party dynamics found in different countries that make them more suitable for some policies but not for others. Specifically, the intersection of interest group intermediation, production regimes, party systems and electoral behaviour are studied in depth. The second half of the seminar concentrates on the role of the European Union in various policies, ranging from fiscal to environmental.  

Postgraduate seminars


L2916: Comparative Public Policy (Masters Degree)

 Comparative studies are becoming the standard in policy analysis. Comparing public policies aims to explain the variance of output and outcome across units of analysis (countries, states/regions, local governments, but also international organisations, policy tools and actors). The typical research questions of comparative public policy analysis are: How and why are policies different across countries, regions, or cities? Which theory explains such a difference in policy?  

PS 2384: Comparative Political Economy of Industrialised Economies (PhD level)

 This graduate level course gives students a deeper knowledge of how economics and politics interact. The course has two goals. The first goal is to introduce the students to models and tools within political economy. The second goal is to become familiar with the debates in the literature of comparative political economy. Students are introduced to political economy models and are familiarised with the analytic tools used in rational choice approaches to economic and political decision-making. Then, they are introduced to the literature on policy preferences, political competition and economic outcomes. Finally the students engage with the more difficult and engaging literature on the causes and effects of economic and political institutions. The focus of this seminar is on graduate professionalisation, research design, and presentation.  

PS303: Introduction to Pooled Cross Section Time-Series Analysis (PhD level)

The aim of this course is to enable graduate students/PhD researchers to undertake research using various estimation techniques for the analysis of cross section time series data. While these data allow researchers to test complex behavioural hypotheses they pose their own methodological and interpretive challenges. By the end of this course, you should be able to understand what to can ask from your CSTS data and how to test your hypotheses. You should be able to understand the statistical properties of the estimators (OLS, FGLS, FE, RE, RCE) and to identify their ‘advantages’ and ‘disadvantages’ with respect to their assumptions, properties and ‘suitability’ for the data at hand. The course will focus primarily on the issues and problems of cross section-time series data which is the most common data within the comparative politics, political economy and international relations field. The problems of heterogeneity, dynamic specification, non-stationarity, omitted variable bias and selection bias will be addressed within the CSTS frame.