Teaching Political Economy

Rethinking Political Economy: How to Teach it Right

On Friday March 5th, 2021, this panel brought together J. Bradford DeLong (Economics), Marion Fourcade (Sociology), Gillian Hart (Geography), and Alan Karras (ISSP & Political Economy) to discuss the different approaches to teaching political economy at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and how this connects to wider contemporary issues. Richard Ashcroft, our Project Coordinator and a Lecturer in Political Economy at Berkeley, moderated the discussion which serves as an excellent primer for teachers interested in political economy and a variety of ways to teach it right.

Pedagogical Questions…

The field of Political Economy spans several different disciplines and departments in the academy, which means its teaching also varies. While approaches vary, each must answer fundamental questions such as:

How does their discipline approach the study of political economy, and is that reflected in the way it is taught? What does their discipline do well, and what does it do less well? Why are these patterns present and how does it inform interdisciplinary borrowing? What should a political economy curriculum look like? What are the key aspects and aims of the curriculum in terms of content, method, skills, and knowledge? What is the relationship between the theory of political economy and its real world applications, including institutional reform, the world of business, and claims for social justice?

Ultimately, these questions cause scholars to reflect on how the pedagogy of political economy might help us rethink political economy as a field of research and thus contribute to the development of an alternative intellectual paradigm to neoliberalism. This page is a collection of resources intended to help a diverse group of scholars and students across disciplines to craft their answers to these questions.

The Political Economy Undergraduate Major at Berkeley

The Political Economy major is designed to study the relationship between government, society, and the economy in a holistic manner from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Political Economy majors investigate how real-world market systems are embedded in both politics and society. They graduate with a mastery of a broad range of contemporary analyses as well as a deep understanding of classic works of political economy. Check out the Major’s homepage for more details.

Political Economy Graduate Resources Around the Berkeley Campus

As The Network was founded at the University of California, Berkeley, it is no surprise that there are a number of classes and seminars around campus engaged in rethinking political economy. Here are a selection of classes and seminars for current Berkeley graduate students interest in Political Economy to check out.