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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 philosophical concepts for the study of politics and the economy.
Part 1 of the course focuses on the circumstances of politics, including such topics as politics itself, liberalism, democracy, and ideal theory. Part 2 focuses on the economy, including such topics as markets, capitalism, academic economics 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 philosophical concepts relevant to politics and the 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 studied and the role they play in (the background of) academic and policy debates;

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


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and commenting on texts.

Assessment method


  • Midterm Essay (40%)

  • Final Essay (60%)

Class attendance requirement: Students who miss more than 2 classes will have their final grade reduced by 0.5 for each additional absence.


The final mark for the course is determined by (i) the weighted average of the essays combined with (ii) the class attendance requirement.


Students can resit an essay assignment that they have failed if their overall grade for the entire course is 5 or less. It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement.

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 MyStudymap is mandatory.

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.