State, Market and Society - POLI8810

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2023 to 2024.


A critical understanding of the key dynamics of social, political and economic life, of the relationships between states, markets, individuals and the civil societies in which they function, is an essential basis for the study of international relations, international political economy, and conflict resolution. The module introduces students to the main issues and theoretical approaches in the study of modern Western democracies.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 176
Total study hours: 200


MA International Political Economy

Method of assessment

Research Paper, 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Albena Azmanova, The Scandal of Reason: A Critical Theory of Political Judgment, Columbia University Press, 2012. (Students can purchase the book from me – the cheapest option, at 25 euro).

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-5). Any edition that contains the Author's Introduction. The E-book in Temple library does not contain it.

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation. Any edition. Available as e-book (Kent Library)

Giafranco Poggy, The Development of the Modern State, Stanford University Press, 1978.

Susan Strange, States and Markets, 2nd edn., London: Pinter Publishers, 1994.

A Karl Marx reader (any edition). I recommend: Jon Elster. ed., Karl Marx: A Reader, Cambridge University Press, 1986; McLelland, David, ed.. Karl Marx, Selected Writings, 2nd edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

David Sydorski, The Liberal Tradition in European Thought (Putnam Press, 1970) – available cheaply from Amazon

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. understand the complex interrelationships among civil society, states and the markets, as these relationships are patterned and regulated through various forms of governance.

2. demonstrate familiarity with the major theoretical approaches to political economy and international political economy in particular, from classical and Marxist political economy to 20th century critics of market society;

3. formulate responses to descriptive and analytical question (e.g. Who exercises power in the global economy and how? What is the role of the state in mediating between individuals and markets? ) as well as and normative and prescriptive questions (e.g: should markets be subordinated to human social relations or vice versa?);

4. articulate their own theoretical stance in the context of the subject matter covered and be able to apply it to issues of contemporary relevance.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Analytical thought and writing: reflect upon complex ideas and arguments; digest, analyse and test scholarly views; relate scholarly ideas and arguments to issues and circumstances in the contemporary global political economy; summarise and analyse scholarly arguments in writing.

2. Advocacy and defence: formulate an opinion in response to an issue or question, construct coherent and persuasive arguments to advocate one's view and defend that view against criticism

3. Communication and presentation skills: prepare oral and written presentations of information and viewpoints to peers; respond to comment and criticism from peers; lead and manage group discussion

4. Problem-solving: respond at short notice to questions and challenges making use of knowledge, analytical tools and perspectives acquired in the module


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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