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Programme & Unit Catalogues

ES50120: Economics of politics

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Economics
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 50%, EX 50%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 50%)
  • Exam (EX 50%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: By the end of the unit students will be expected to:
a) understand the way that rational choice models can be applied to explain and to predict the behaviour of politicians, bureaucrats, voters and interest groups;
b) understand the integrative link that has emerged between economic theory and political science;
c) assess the relevance of rational choice theories in the light of insights from behavioural economics;
d) assess the likelihood that democratic processes may be more inefficient than market processes.

Aims: The aim of the course unit is to provide students with the ability to apply microeconomic theory to analyse political behaviour.

Skills: An enhanced understanding of economic analysis.
Abstraction and analytic skills.
Investigative skills.
Time management and planning.
Presentation skills.

* An introduction to welfare economics.
* An analysis of why citizens vote, and of the implications of relying on different voting rules.
* The economics of collective action and an assessment of the impact of lobbying.
* The motivation to participate in political revolution.
* The economics of terrorism.
* The economics of bureaucracy.
* Rent seeking and regulation.
* Rent seeking and trade policy.
* An analysis of the efficiency of international alliances.

Programme availability:

ES50120 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Economics


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
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