Comparative Political Economy

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 13 December 2024
22 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA L20612 Political Economy,
MA L206EB Political Economy,
MA L206EK Political Economy,
MRESL20624 Political Economy,
MSC L20612 Political Economy,
MSC L206EB Political Economy,
MSC L206EK Political Economy,
MSC L16512 Quantitative International Development

Module description

This is a graduate course on comparative political economy. The course is divided into different themes addressing how domestic politics affect domestic economics, as well as the reverse: how domestic and economics affect domestic politics. For example, we will cover how domestic politics affect areas like industrial/labour policy, fiscal/debt policy, and social/regional transfers. We also examine how domestic and economics affect areas like voting preferences and electoral behaviour, party systems and political stability, redistribution and the welfare state. The class emphasizes core theoretical insights, using them to delve into traditional and more recent theoretical and empirical debates. The module also emphasizes research using quantitative methods to test theoretical arguments.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce students to contemporary scholarly research on political economy topics.

  • To introduce students to key models in political science and their substantive applications.

  • To stimulate students to form original ideas for promising quantitative research projects in the area of contemporary political economy.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Read, understand, and evaluate quantitative analyses and scholarly work published in the leading journals.

  2. Understand evaluation methods for particular research questions, research designs, and variables.

  3. Measure variables of interest and conduct empirical analyses using various statistical methods.

  4. Analyse quantitative data.

  5. Complete a replication activity and present it.

Transferable Skills

Students will require, use and develop the following key skills:

  1. Transfer of ideas: Students will be helped to follow and assess quantitative research in other modules – parties and elections, comparative politics, IR, and so on.

  2. Improving independent learning and performance: Students will learn to address their own research topics in a quantitative framework with an eye towards scholarly publication.

  3. Communication, interaction, and peer review: Classes involve not only questions from me but also group discussions; students are required to give formal feedback to other students in written form.

  4. Writing: Students learn how to theorize, generate empirically testable hypotheses, and report on and discuss results of quantitative analyses.

Module information

The module is the core module for students on the MA/MSC/MRes in Political Economy and can be taken as an option by students on other Masters courses in the Department of Government.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be delivered via:

  • One two-hour class per week. 

The module will run over 10 weeks.



The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Critical Writing Assignment 1    30% 
Coursework   Response Paper    30% 
Coursework   Power Point Presentation    40% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Martin Steinwand, email: martin.steinwand@essex.ac.uk.
Martin Steinwand
Please contact govpgquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Kyriaki Nanou
Durham University
Associate Professor in European politics
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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