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Political Economy (Political Science)

Political Economy (Political Science)

How do global economic and political forces shape the lives and future of citizens, business, and civil society? Our Political Economy Master programme will teach you to answer these questions. The programme covers the ground from ‘economics for non-economists’ to understanding how the ‘rules of the game’ are shaped, to thinking about ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ of an open global economy and how that gives rise to ‘new’ conflicts. You will address the critical issues in global and comparative terms facing the developed and developing worlds, from Asia to Europe to the Americas. We will focus on contemporary challenges such as migration, the struggle for development, or better financial market governance.

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Our starting point is that the relationship between ‘politics’ and ‘the economy’ is a two-way street: political contestation shapes economic outcomes and their governance, while economic developments generate political conflicts. We confront the social dimension of key political challenges by exploring issues such as social inequalities and corporate power. These dynamics cut across a rich terrain of contemporary issues and taps into your interest in both the practical and the ‘big issue’ side of global affairs, crossing over with public policy expertise and business strategy, among which:

  • Powerful emerging economies in Africa and Asia are ‘on the move’, business lobbies push their preferences, and the success of the developing world is a growing challenge to the dominance of the advanced economies in global and regional governance.
  • Technological change and the Internet revolution are transforming the corporate sector, labor markets, and government. New patterns of mass-elite communication and social movement mobilization are emerging.
  • Citizens feel vulnerable in the face of cross-border trade, investment, financial markets, and labor market risks. Fearing immigration, rising inequalities, and a changing welfare state, many opt for more ‘populist’ political movements of the radical left or right. 

Our programme aims to teach you ways of ‘political economy thinking’ that you can apply directly to the debates taking place in private business, ministries, international organisations, as well as your thesis research. The range of literature is wide and the course includes classic texts in economics and political economy.

Meet the people

Read more about the Course Manual

Student profile

This track is above all a response to demand from students. It draws on a long political economy tradition at the UvA that is second-to-none in Europe. Those of you with a public policy, comparative politics or international relations background often seek to specialize in the economic policy domain yet outside the confines – often ideologically and methodologically constraining – of traditional approaches in economics and business departments. Many who have taken economics, business, or law seek the way our programme ‘brings politics back in’. Many from the humanities can add their linguistic, cultural and historical knowledge to the programme. 

Career prospects

Political Economy taps your interest in issues of practical concern in the economy, business, and policy worlds where expertise leads to elite job opportunities. Above all we help you to think and analyze critically and independently. There is strong demand in society for the training we offer. The programme equips graduates to compete successfully with management, public policy, and economics-trained students for relevant jobs in ministries, think-tanks or consultancy, companies, municipalities, International Organizations and media. For more information, see the webpage on career prospects.

Why study Political Economy in Amsterdam?

The programme is based at the University of Amsterdam, a major research university, and in one of the highest-ranking departments in continental Europe. The Graduate School of Social Sciences (GSSS) provides a vibrant and international academic community and promotes strong academic and transferable skills development. PE candidates develop a real ‘esprit de corps’ in their year in Amsterdam as we provide you with both academic and professional skills. Our research-oriented MSc in Political Economy taps into your interest in both the practical and the ‘big issue’ side of global affairs, crossing over with public policy expertise and business strategy.

Ambition in research?

For students interested in this field of study, we also offer a two-year Research Master’s programme in Social Sciences.

Research Master Social Sciences

What is a Research Master's programme?

Degree certificate

Political Economy is a track of the accredited degree programme Political Science. After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally accredited Master’s degree in Political Science and the title Master of Science (MSc).

Key facts

Political Economy (Political Science)
Degree programme MSc Political Science
Type Regular study programme
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66606