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States, Markets and Politics*



The seminar focuses on the interrelations between states and markets from a broad social science perspective. Along with economic thinkers we will discuss states/politics and markets as opposite coordination and allocation mechanisms, study the key assumptions behind this approach, and examine its implications. Along with sociological and institutional theorists we will examine markets as social formations, embedded in their social environment. We will deepen our understanding of state-market interrelations by looking at the historical development of markets and examining the varieties of capitalism. From this analytical basis we will also discuss current policies that attempt to create public sector markets and the results and challenges of these efforts. The seminar aims at developing a deeper and complex understanding of state-market interrelations that is not only relevant for explaining broad social phenomena but that contributes to rigorous thinking about current public policy and management issues.

Methods of Instruction

Seminar discussions. Active student participation is required. Each meeting one of the students takes the lead by presenting a short review of the readings; another student will act as a discussant.

Study Material

A selection of journal articles, books, and government publications. The literature list will be made available in August.


Take-home exam (a paper on an assigned question). Students are required to read the assigned texts before class meetings and participate in the class discussion. Additionally, each student is required to present a review of the readings at one of the meetings and act as a main discussant at another meeting.

Course material is also obligatory for the exam and discussions as far as it is set out in sheets, handouts and other information media.


Tuesday 3 September until 24 September, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A24
Tuesday 1 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 6C03
Tuesday 8 & 15 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs in SA05
Tuesday 22 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs in 1A24