This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Archived Versions

Political Economy I: Theories of the State and the Economy

As taught in: Fall 2005

Woodcut of Karl Marx.
Karl Marx. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)


Prof. Michael Piore

Prof. Suzanne Berger

MIT Course Number:

17.100J / 14.781J / 15.678J



Course Highlights

This course features essay assignments, which are located in the assignments section.

Course Description

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 participants in the seminar are required to do the weekly readings before class meetings. The course also requires two 12-15 page essays on assigned topics. The seminar is open to graduate students in all departments and also to undergraduates with prior course work in economics or political science and with permission of the instructors.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.