In modern market economies, the interaction between business and government forms the basis for how the economy and society is organised. This relationship between government and business is thus a close and interdependent one, forming the basis of what is generally labelled ‘political economy’. This course examines this interaction, both nationally and globally. It compares different political systems and institutional arrangements; considers the impacts of key ideas such as globalisation and neo-liberalism; explores the various models of business-government interaction internationally; and considers a range of contemporary issues that affect business. Successful businesses are aware that a sound understanding of how government functions, and how business interacts politically, are important factors in driving their success. Business thus values employees who can bring such knowledge to their workplaces.
Choose ONE of the following essay topics:
1. A strongly negative reaction to globalization has caused political upheaval in countries around the world, with the main complaint being that the benefits of globalization go very unevenly to different countries and to different sections within countries. Should the globalizing process be reversed or should we seek a new and fairer model of globalization? Discuss, using examples to illustrate and support your argument.
2. Neo-liberalism became the standard model for political economy in the 1980s under the argument that ‘there is no alternative’. But financial crisis and long-term economic stagnation have cast doubt on the benefits of neo-liberalism. Is it time to look for a genuine alternative and how might we go about this? Use examples to illustrate and support your argument.
3. Which political economy model/s do you consider most effective in achieving economic prosperity and citizen well-being. Use country example/s to illustrate and support your argument.
4. ‘Only socially responsible businesses, committed to social as well as profitability goals, will succeed in today’s demanding global political economy’. Do you agree with this statement? Discuss, using examples to illustrate and support your argument.