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Economic Change and Ideas

  • Module code: EC7002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Pre-requisites: none
  • Co-requisites: none

Summary

This module develops an historical and analytical narrative of the transformation of economic life from the rise of capitalism and the first and second industrial revolutions to the emergence of the present day globalised and financialised world; it also presents parallel developments in the history of economic ideas. It gives you an opportunity to view the history of the last half millennium through the prism of industrial revolutions and economic crises and examines how, and how well, contemporaneous thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall and John Maynard Keynes dealt with these dramatic transformations in material life.

Aims

  • To develop students' ability to critically evaluate and synthesize different published sources relevant to significant aspects of the rise of capitalism
  • To advance the students' familiarity with a detailed historical narrative of the development of capitalism in the context of the tools and categories of advanced economic analysis
  • To present an analytically coherent narrative of the central ideas in the history of economic thought and current debates
  • To link developments in the history economic thought to contemporary issues in economic reality, policy and theory.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to

  • Critically evaluate and synthesize different published sources relevant to a significant aspect of the rise of capitalism
  • Demonstrate an advanced familiarity with a detailed historical narrative of the development of capitalism in the context of the tools and categories of upper level economic analysis
  • Clearly articulate a coherent narrative of the central ideas in the history of economic thoughts in a general socio-economic context
  • Show the connections between developments in the history of economic thought and substantive contemporary issues in policy and theory.

Curriculum content

  • Issues and problems in the methodology of economics
  • Emergence of capitalism and classical political economy
  • Mercantile and industrial capitalism
  • Colonialism and imperialism
  • Capitalism post WWII 1945-1980
  • Contemporary neoliberal capitalism
  • Theoretical debates in the age of globalisation
  • Environmental economics
  • Gender economics
  • Institutional economics

Teaching and learning strategy

The module is delivered by weekly workshops comprising of a combination of lecture and seminar components. The lecture component will discuss the key issues of each topic and lay the preparatory ground for the application of knowledge and expanded discussion with regard to practical issues in the seminar component of the workshops. Students will be given questions weekly lagged by one week linked to the topics covered in the lecture component of the workshop, to be prepared for the seminar component based on detailed reading in their own time; this material will be collected and evaluated as formative assessment. Seminar component of the workshops will also be used to help students prepare their preliminary and final essays: draft outlines will be submitted and assessed formatively in seminar component of workshops, as will first drafts of the final essays. The summative assessment will be submitted after the end of each teaching block.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 22 two hour lectures 44
Guided independent study Student independent study 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

This module is assessed through two essays. A preliminary essay of 3,000 words, involving assessment of the core historical and analytical material completed in the first part of the module, is worth 40% of the overall mark. Formative assessment will take place with written responses to seminar questions, discussions in seminars and critiques of drafts of the preliminary and final essays. The final essay of 3,000 words, to be completed at the end of the module, involves an assessment of the capacity to integrate and critically evaluate the material and themes of the module as a whole, and is worth 60% of the overall mark.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Critically evaluate and synthesize different published sources relevant to a significant aspect of the rise of capitalism The preliminary essay is the central mechanism for testing the ability to critically evaluate and synthesize different published sources relevant to a significant aspect of the rise of capitalism (summative); formative assessment will take place in the context of weekly written assignments and discussions, outlines and first drafts of the preliminary essay.
Demonstrate a familiarity with a detailed historical narrative of the development of capitalism in the context of the tools and categories of economic analysis The preliminary essay and the final essay will evaluate the capacity to demonstrate a familiarity with a detailed historical narrative of the development of capitalism in the context of the tools and categories of economic analysis (summative); formative assessment will take place in the context of weekly written assignments and discussion and outlines and first drafts of the preliminary and final essays.
Clearly articulate a coherent narrative of the central ideas in the history of economic thought in the context of a general historical context and chronology The final essay is the key mechanism for testing the ability to articulate the major alternative paradigms of political economy and elucidate the key assumptions, concepts and methods of each of these paradigms (summative); formative assessment will take place in the context of weekly written assignments and discussions, outlines and first drafts of the final essay.
Show the connections between developments in the history of economic thought and the substantive history of the emergence and development of capitalism The final essay will evaluate the ability to show the connections between developments in the history of economic thought and the substantive history of the emergence and development of capitalism (summative); formative assessment will take place in the context of weekly written assignments and discussions, outlines and first drafts of the final essay.

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
Coursework Preliminary Essay 3000 words 40
Coursework Essay 3000 words 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Allen, Robert C. (2011) Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press 2011

Barber, William (2009) A History of Economic Thought Wesleyan University Press

Bayly, C.A. (2004) The Birth Of The Modern World 1780-1914 Oxford: Blackwell

Cameron, Rondo and Neal, Larry (2003) A Concise Economic History of the World Fourth edition Oxford: Oxford UP

Bibliography recommended reading

Christian, David (2004) Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History University of California Press

Foreman-Peck, J. (1995) A History of the World Economy Harlow: Pearson

Hunt, E.K. and Lautzenheiser, Mark (2011) A History of Economic Thought third edition New York: M.E. Sharpe

Israel, Jonathan A Revolution of the Mind (2010) Princeton: Princeton University Press

Maddison, Angus (2006) The World Economy volumes I and II combined Paris: OECD

Milios, J. and Sotiropoulos, D. P. (2009) Rethinking Imperialism: A Study of Capitalist Rule, London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Panitch, L. and Gindin, S. (2004) Global Capitalism and American Empire, London: The Merlin Press.

Rubin, Isaac Ilych (1987) History of Economic Thought London: Pluto Press.

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