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Political Economy

Political economy is an interdisciplinary field of study that has its roots in the intellectual tradition of enlightenment moral philosophy, the Marxist political project of social analysis of capitalism, conservative public choice theory, and liberal approaches to public policy. In some accounts, political economy involves “things that have too much politics to be economics, too much history to be politics, too much sociology to be history, and too much economics to be sociology.” Political economy examines the possibilities and constraints furnished by social structures, institutions, ideologies, and culture within and across societies and looks at the interplay of economic and political forces in the social arena. It provides students with conceptual and methodological frameworks that help them critically examine the interplay between market forces and public policy actors and factors. As students develop their analytical skills of economics and politics and their interrelationships, they are encouraged to keep, in a humanistic tradition, a sustained reflection on fundamental values.