Anthony J Gill
POL S 588
Examination of current topics in the theory and practice of comparative political economy. Content varies according to recent developments in the field and research interests of the instructor.
Description: This course will present a wide range of new and old readings in the field of comparative political economy with an emphasis on the importance of institutions and collective action. We will also direct attention to broad-based historical changes in the political economy, investigating issues such as why Europe developed (industrialized) before other regions of the world and what factors have helped to guarantee economic growth over time. The broad spatial and temporal nature of the empirical focus should help students locate their own research in a wider comparative context. The theoretical focus will largely (but not exclusively) be rational choice theory and new institutionalism. In addition to the empirical and theoretical focus, professionalization will also be emphasized. Students will be required to give mock conference presentations to help prepare for conferences. Students who have not taken their comprehensive exams yet will be given practice exams as part of the graded coursework, thereby helping prepare you for that academic hurdle. Students beyond “the comps” will be asked to prepare a detailed research proposal that relates to the student’s dissertation. Class participation will be graded as well.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Texts: Books include: Bueno de Mesquita, Predicting Politics; Ostrom, Understanding Institutional Diversity; Hechter; Principles of Group Solidarity; North, Structure and Change in Economic History; North and Thomas, The Rise of the Western World; Kuran, Islam and Mammon; Spruyt, Ending Empire; and Landsburg, The Armchair Economist, among others.
Class assignments and grading