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Course Description

Course: Introduction to Political Economy

Code: PEC101

Semester: A & B

Tutors: Y. Varoufakis

             E. Kountouris

This course approaches economics through the prism of the contemporaneous evolution of (a) market societies and (b) our ideas and concepts that we have developed in order to make sense of the workings of market societies. The course is taught in parallel with ECO101, Introduction to Economic Analysis, with which it is in constant dialogue.

Contents

1.  The parallel emergence of industrial societies and genuinely economic theories of such societies in the context of the first spurt of economic globalisation.

2. The first theories of Crises

3. Utilitarianism and the neoclassical theory of markets and social welfare

4. Mainstream economic analysis in a critical light: The utility machine, the problem with social justice, the effect of commodification on individual and social goods

5. Three major schools of political economy contrasted: The Neoclassical School, the Neoricardian School and the Marxist Tradition

6. From the partial to the general: Theories of money and the transition from a micro to a macro perspective

Indicative textbook:

Yanis Varoufakis (1998). Foundations of Economics: A beginner’s companion, London and New York: Routledge