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Politics and Economy: Philosophical Foundations


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to MA students in Philosophy 60 EC, specialisation Philosophical Perspectives on Politics and the Economy.


This course introduces key concepts and debates in the study of politics and economy and their philosophical use and analysis.

Part 1 of the course focuses on politics, including such topics as justice, democracy, freedom, ideal theory and moral realism. Part 2 focuses on the economy, including such topics as economic methodology, markets, rationality, and cooperation.

Course objectives

This course aims to provide theoretical resources to complement the other courses you will be taking in the 3PE programme.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • key concepts and disputes in the study of politics and economy, and also to some extent their relationships to each other and to wider intellectual, political and social developments.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • critically evaluate the concepts and debates studied;

  • apply these concepts and arguments in an original argumentative way to identify and address real world problems;

  • present such analysis orally and in writing in an appropriate academic style.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and small written assignments

Assessment method


  • Midterm essay (40%)

  • Final essay (60%)

  • Academic skills assignment. Graded: Fail (0.5 deducted from final grade); Pass (no effect on final grade); or Good (0.5 added to final grade)


The final mark for the course is determined by (i) the weighted average of the two essays combined with (ii) the class attendance requirement, and iii) any addition/deduction for the academic skills assignment.


Students can resit the assignment if their overall grade for the entire course is 5 or less. This requires writing a new essay weighted at 100% of the grade. It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement or academic skills assignment.

Inspection and feedback

Students will have an opportunity to discuss the grading of their essays with the instructor.

Reading list

Recommended advance reading for this course:

  • Runciman, David. Politics: Ideas in Profile. Main edition. London: Profile Books, 2014.

  • Heath, Joseph. Economics Without Illusions: Debunking the Myths of Modern Capitalism. New York: Currency, 2010.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number, which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.