Comparative Political Economy

Course content

This course will introduce students to the major debates in the field of Comparative Political Economy. With a focus on advanced democracies (North America, Western Europe, East Asia), we will discuss topics such as why some countries are more unequal than others, why some countries redistribute more than others, how welfare states differ across countries, how globalization and technological change (digitalization, AI, robots) are transforming politics and the economy, how people form their preferences over redistribution and taxation, how rising property prices affect political preferences and policies, and more. 


After taking the course, the students will have gained knowledge of the classic debates in Comparative Political Economy as well as of new developments in the field. This knowledge is essential for understanding the contemporary politics of advanced industrial societies.


Full-degree students enrolled at the Department of Political Science, UCPH

  • MSc in Political Science
  • MSc in Social Science
  • MSc in Security Risk Management
  • Bachelor in Political Science


Full-degree students enrolled at the Faculty of Social Science, UCPH

  • Master Programme in Social Data Science
  • Bachelor and Master Programmes in Economics
  • Master programme in Global Development


The course is open to:

  • Exchange and Guest students from abroad
  • Credit students from Danish Universities
  • Open University students


Enrolled students register the course through the Selfservice. Please contact the study administration at each programme for questions regarding registration.

Learning outcome


Upon completion of the course, the students will 1) have gained a basic understanding of the major debates in the field of Comparative Political Economy, 2) be able to discuss and critically analyze empirical studies in this field, 3) have gained the knowledge to participate in societal debates about politics and the economy.


the course will strengthen the student’s analytical skills and their ability to formulate convincing and coherent arguments.


  • Describe and discuss the major debates in Comparative Political Economy
  • Make use of and evaluate different theories on the topic
  • Develop and test own research questions

The course will be highly discussion based mixed with the occasional short lecture and group work.

During the course, we will read a mix of classic and new work related to themes such as economic inequality, redistribution, the welfare state, growth models, technological change, economic insecurity, populism etc.


Total number of pages: 1000-1200

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination
Type of assessment details
Free written assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

- In the semester where the course takes place: Free written assignment

- In subsequent semesters: Free written assignment

Criteria for exam assessment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester


Department of Political Science, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Social Data Science
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Mads Andreas Elkjær   (4-6f63676e426b6875306d7730666d)
Saved on the 23-11-2023

Are you BA- or KA-student?

Are you bachelor- or kandidat-student, then find the course in the course catalog for students:

Courseinformation of students