Course Meeting Times

Seminars: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


The seminar is open to MIT graduate students in all departments and also to undergraduates with prior course work in economics or political science and with permission of the instructors.

Course Overview

Political Economy I explores the major social science paradigms for analyzing relations among state, economy, and society. Through readings, lectures and discussion of original texts in political liberalism and individualism, neo-classical economics, Marxism, sociological and cultural theories, and neo-institutionalism, the seminar examines the fundamental assumptions on which our understanding of the social world and our research are based.


  • All weekly readings must be read before class meetings
  • Two 12–15 page essays on assigned topics
  • Class participation


Grading is based mainly on the two essays, with some consideration of class participation.