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Advanced Political Economy (Block 4)


Admission requirements

Required course(s):

You are required to:

  • have successfully completed Quantitative Research Methods or an equivalent statistics/econometrics course;

  • have successfully completed Principles of Economics or an equivalent introductory course on economics;

  • have a working understanding of political science, economics and/or development as evidenced by successful completion of 100- and 200-level courses in these fields (e.g., have taken Introduction to Comparative Politics and/or Decision Making Processes).

If not sure, kindly ask the instructor.


In this course, we will strive to understand how political and economic factors have interacted across countries historically and in current settings. We will examine the ways in which political interests, agents and institutions influence economic performance and vice versa – how economic variables affect political action. We will pay attention to how political-economic theories are built, how they interact with one another, and how they are explored or tested using various sources of evidence. Given the breadth of topics and coverage of countries with different records of industrialization, democracy and economic performance, our goal is seemingly modest, but in reality ambitious – to further our understanding of key ideas, debates, and methodologies in comparative political economy in a structured way. This task requires dedication, diligence, imagination, and, – well, as much of arts and sciences, – sacrifices.

Course Objectives

Our key objective in this course will be to advance our understanding of the interaction between political and economic factors. If you persevere and successfully make it to the end of this course despite temporarily losing many a brave friend in this battle and your own sanity, you should be able to:

  • understand and critically discuss major issues, debates and theories in comparative political economy;

  • critically apply existing theoretical frameworks to evaluate specific country experiences in a comparative perspective;

  • empirically identify existing or potential sources of challenges for specific countries, their neighbors, partners and foes;

  • work toward developing tailored remedies for such challenges and present findings to stakeholders and informed non-specialists;

  • further strengthen your case for acquiring a right to give a grin at those economists and policy practitioners who seem to ignore politics, structures, and institutions.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

We will meet for two 2-hour seminars each week, starting each class with a brief recap and following with a discussion of a specific topic based on assigned readings. Most of our discussions will take the form of a structured interaction, including case-based debates, role-plays and simulations, so as to channel our brainstorming and musing productively, efficiently and in a fun way. Collaborative “experiential learning” exercises should help us apply our theoretical knowledge, hone analytical skills in simulated real-life settings, perceive the “reality” from the perspective of actors whose behavior we want to understand, and foster productive teamwork.

Assessment Method

  • Contribution to in-class discussions and exercises - 15%

  • Peer feedback on research proposal – 20%

  • Group project - 30%

  • Final research essay - 35%

Reading list



Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Davina Osei,