Political Economy

Williams College Political Economy Site

Political Economy Major Requirements

Political Economy Course Offerings

The Political Economy major is designed to give students a grasp of the ways in which political and economic forces interact in the shaping of public policy. The major includes substantial study of the central analytical approaches in both political science and economics and seeks to surmount the sometimes artificial barriers of specialization that may characterize either discipline taken by itself. In the junior and senior years a conscious merging of the approaches in the two fields is undertaken in the three required Political Economy courses. (These courses are designed by, and usually are taught jointly by, political scientists and economists.) Political Economy 301 examines major writings in political economy and analyzes economic liberalism and critiques of economic liberalism in the context of current policy issues. Political Economy 401 examines interactions of political and economic forces in contemporary international affairs. Political Economy 402 examines such interactions in selected current public policy issues. Background for these senior courses is acquired through courses in international economics, public finance, and domestic and international/comparative politics and policy.  Students in Political Economy 402 visit Washington, D.C. Sunday night through Wednesday of the first week of spring vacation to conduct interviews relating to their Political Economy 402 group projects. This is a course requirement.