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    Core ideas of political economy from the early modern period to present day with applications to policy problems.

    This paper is an intellectually intense, team-taught, participatory course of study in which we will encounter the classics of political economy as well as recent and contemporary work. The focus will be on methodological issues and their practical applications. Students will be expected to develop their knowledge and to enhance their critical skills both via their written work and through symposia and in-class discussions. The paper aims not only to deepen the students' understanding of political economy, but also to give them as much practice as possible in constructing and defending arguments both on paper and in person. The various sections of the paper refer to each other, taking a multidisciplinary approach to the study of political economy.

    About this paper

    Paper title Political Economy I: Method, Philosophy, Applications
    Subject Philosophy, Politics and Economics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    (BSNS 104 or BSNS 113), ECON 112, one 100-level POLS paper, and one 100-level PHIL paper
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Commerce
    Students who do not meet all the prerequisites but have passed 72 points may be admitted with approval from the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Programme Co-ordinator.

    Compulsory paper for second-year PHPE majors; open to non-majors with permission of the Co-ordinator.


    Associate Professor Trent Smith

    Teaching staff

    Convener and Lecturer: Associate Professor Trent Smith


    Professor Lisa Ellis

    Professor David Fielding

    Professor Charles Pigden

    Paper Structure
    Each class will consist of staff and student presentations and class discussion based partly on written student contributions.
    Teaching Arrangements
    The paper is interdisciplinary, team-taught and participatory. In addition to the Course Co-ordinator, at least three other lecturers (representing Economics, Philosophy and Politics) will offer brief lectures and lead discussions of the readings.
    Readings will be distributed on Blackboard.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete the paper will develop:

    • Understanding of the social context of economic ideas.
    • Critical awareness of the philosophical foundations of capitalism.
    • The ability for constructive engagement with the main criticisms of market rationality.
    • The ability to think critically about political and economic principles.
    • Awareness of methodological issues in the social sciences, particularly politics and economics.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 15:00-16:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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