Jan 27. Introduction
This is the Corona virus edition of our course on comparative political economy. Before analog classes were suspended on March 16, we had covered all the material up to and including the topic of “Inequality.” “Work and unemployment” is consequently our first virtual, Inter-net based, class. Online courses are different from real-life courses of course, but they are not necessarily worse. Everything depends on how often you log on to the web pages and how much you interact with them. I will do my best to make sure that there are different kinds of readings, video clips and exercises available. You will learn things. The course, just as life, will go on.
These, btw, are good discussions the economic impact of the pandemic.
- Hsu, Tiffany, and Emily Flitter. “Businesses Face a New Coronavirus Threat: Shrinking Access to Credit.” The New York Times, March 16, 2020, sec. Business.
- Manjoo, Farhad. “I Don’t Know Who Needs to Hear This, but Brands Can’t Save You.” The New York Times, March 18, 2020, sec. Opinion.
Economics, as it usually is taught at universities, does not include many references to politics. Economics is regarded as a sphere of its own, governed by its own logic. This is a mistake. Economic activities are social activities, and as such they are intimately related to everything else that human beings do. This course will emphasize this fact. We will discuss what markets are and how they work, and the role of the state in relation to the economy. Themes include: financial institutions, poverty and inequality, entrepreneurship, consumerism, work and unemployment, climate change and globalization.
The course will help you analyze contemporary economic issues in theoretical terms. It will help you understand the logic of the arguments used by economists, but also help you question that logic. Throughout the course we will read many classical texts, but also listen to podcasts and watch online lectures. All the pages are phone-compatible.
The final grade for the course was originally based on two requirements: 1) final, research paper of 5,000 words; 2) active class participation, including presentations. You should also write a research proposal of some 3,000 words (the mid-term is required but not graded). These requirements are still valid, but the Corona edition of the course requires you in addition to do the exercises online, to add comments on articles and other material, and to record a video presentation. You will receive continuous updates via our Telegram group.
The online learning experience
This, btw, is that students at other universities have thought about online teaching (no, they are not very happy).
- Marcus, Jon. “Will the Coronavirus Forever Alter the College Experience?” The New York Times, April 23, 2020.
Or follow these links:
- “Impact of Coronavirus on Students’ Academic Progress and College Plans“
- “Generation Distance: Will Traditional Students Embrace Online Learning?“
- “75% of College Students Unhappy With Quality of eLearning During Covid-19“
Professor Plum’s Playlist
There aren’t that many songs about Corona viruses, pandemics, pests and plagues, but perhaps you will enjoy the following: