Configuring the World: A Critical Political Economy Approach

In today’s world, politics and economics are inextricably interconnected, but what is the nature of this connectivity? What are the power relationships that shape the world economy today and create new challenges for international institutions facing globalization? What makes some countries wealthier than others? Do we face cultural diversity or fragmentation? Does the type of governance effect economic development and social change or is it the other way around? How do we measure it and how trustworthy is the data? These issues and many more will be examined in this course along with up-to-date sources and biting criticism.

About The Course

The course is composed of eight modules that together will introduce students to the influences that shape the world in which we live today. It will examine the forces that explain the differences between success and failure in economic development and effective government in different countries. It will view how these forces also interact in the global economy.

The course will offer two tracks. One for those following the course and taking the tests and the other for students preparing individual assignments. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I get a certificate or Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

2. Do I earn Leiden University credits upon completion of this class?

No. The certificate of completion is not part of a formal qualification from Leiden University.

3. What resources will I need for this class?

Currently we are negotiating to get all necessary reading material to be downloadable for free from the course web site.

4. What are the learning outcomes of this course and why should I take it?

After this course you will be able:

-To describe the interrelationships between society, politics and economics from different perspectives, disciplines and geographical areas.

-To explain research methods social scientists use to measure societal variables.

-To identify the limitations of social science indices and the effect on the credibility of subsequent statistical analysis.

-To criticize important relationships in political economy by using theoretical notions and practical examples.

-To design your own comparative research into a region of the world by applying data base management and visualization techniques.

-To discuss societal issues using your own empirical analysis experience.

5. Why do you offer this course for free?

Leiden University is grounded in a long standing tradition in providing students the space for obtaining a thorough and multifaceted education. This MOOC offers us the possibility to share our knowledge globally.

Recommended Background

No previous background is required.