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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Spring 2005

GOV 390L • Comparative Political Economy

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36665 T
3:30 PM-6:30 PM
BUR 128

Course Description

Political Economy is a term that encompasses an array of theoretical debates, analytic approaches, and research interests. All share a common commitment to transcending the disciplinary boundaries that divided politics and economics in American social science of the 1950s and 1960s. The political economy traditions we consider in this class also share common substantive concerns: they all tackle fundamental and practical questions about the origins, workings, and imperfections of democracy and capitalism. This course introduces students to two main approaches to political economy analysis: social structuralism and rational choice. We also consider the various “institutionalisms” that have evolved over time to complement and qualify the two basic approaches. Social structuralism and rational choice proceed from different conceptions of the state, society, and the market. This course asks about the practical, normative, and social-science implications of these differences. The substative issue that will be the focus of this year’s course is the relationship between property rights and political development.


Tentative list. Please check Spring 2005 syllabus for the definitive list. Anthony Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (Cambridge, 1973). James A. Caporaso and David P. Levine, Theories of Political Economy (Cambridge, 1992). Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Beacon, 1944). Barrington Moore, Jr., Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (Beacon Press, 1966). Jack Knight, Institutions and Social Conflict, Cambridge, 1992. Colin Leys, The Rise and Fall of Development Theory (London and Bloomington: James Currey and Indiana U. Press, 1996). Douglass North, Structure and Change in Economic History (WW Norton, 1981). Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action (Harvard Univ. Press, rev. edition 1971). Mounira M. Charrad, States and Women’s Rights: The Making of Postcolonials Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco (Univ. of California, 2001). Mark Irving Lichbach and Alan S. Zuckerman, Comparative Politics: Rationality, Culture and Structure, (Cambridge, 1997). selections A packet of course readings will be prepared by Paradigm Books.


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