17.150 The American Political Economy in Comparative Perspective

Prereq: Permission of instructor

Examines the origins and impact of key features of the American political economy in comparative perspective. Considers a range of political-economic topics, including labor markets, finance, taxation, social policy, and the role of money and organized interests. Highlights the distinctive aspects of American political economy in terms of both institutional structure and substantive outcomes (such as poverty and inequality) by comparing the US with other nations, particularly other rich democracies.

Kathleen Thelen (MIT) and Paul Pierson (UC Berkeley)


17.154 Varieties of Capitalism and Social Inequality

Prereq: Permission of instructor

Focuses on the advanced democracies of Europe, the United States, and Japan. Explores trajectories of change that bear on issues of economic and social inequality. Examines whether contemporary trends (globalization, deindustrialization) undermine institutional arrangements that once reconciled economic efficiency with high levels of social equality. Considers the extent to which existing theoretical frameworks capture cross-national variation in the dynamics of redistribution in these societies.

Kathleen Thelen, Peter Hall (Harvard)


17.561 European Politics

Prereq: None

Examines the organization of political power and the dynamics of political change in Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. Particular focus on the structure of political power within the state, and on important institutions that form the link between state and society, especially political parties and interest organizations.

Kathleen Thelen