Classical Theories of Political Economy

Clasical Theories of Political Economy
TuTh 2-330P

Professor Crawford
University of California Berkeley


Study Questions


Terms and Conditions (Course Requirements)

Your Instructor

lecture outlines


statement on Plagiarism

Why is this class required?

Terms and Conditions

Completion of all readings and attendance at lectures and weekly discussion sections are and membership in the Facebook group, Political Economy are required.*

Attendance at lectures and section is required The use of laptops and PDAs in class is not permitted. Please take notes with paper and pen/pencil.

Required Reading to be purchased

Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation Beacon Press
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Sommerville and Santoni, eds., Social and Political Philosophy

Subscription to the Wall Street Journal (information and signup at the first class session.

i>clicker available at or and possibly e-Bay or Craigslist.


Your final course grade will be determined as follows: Section grade: 20 per cent (including attendance, informed contributions to discussion and debate, short writing assignments, interaction with instructors and other students--including office hour visits, emails, etc.--, contributions to the Facebook group, "Political Economy," or a substitute contribution acceptable to your GSI, possible section quizzes, short reading responses, or any other activity the GSI assigns), One quiz on Sept. 20 5%, Two Newspaper assignments 10%, Midterm Exam 25%, Final Exam 40%.

Section Grade (20%):

Attendance in lecture and section is a required part of course. You are permitted to miss three lectures for any reason to accommodate extracurricular activities, sleep deficits, epidemics, earthquakes, etc. After three absences, we will deduct 5% from your participation grade (0.5% from your final grade) for each additional absence, regardless of why you missed class. You may be exempted for recurring issues such as membership in a sports team or a chronic illness. You should bring these issues to our attention before or immediately after you miss class and be prepared to provide supporting documentation.

Because Cal is interested in developing your ability to think critically and communicate well, participation counts heavily toward your final grade. We define participation broadly to include classroom/section discussion (raising and answering questions, commenting, participating in i>clicker surveys), posts to the Political Economy Facebook Group* (new posts, responses and questions), interaction with the instructors (email, speaking after class and office hour visits), and short section assignments--including reading responses and quizzes. If you are concerned about participation, contact us and we can discuss strategies to raise your grade. Please contact us before the end of the semester to express concerns about your participation grade.

In-Class midterm (25%)
This exam will be divided into two parts. Part one (thirty minutes) requires you to answer several short IDs. To answer the short IDs, you should (1) define the ID (usually a concept, individual or event), (2) discuss its relationship to broader issues and other concepts discussed in the course readings and lectures, and (3) establish its theoretical significance (ideally in relation to one or more of the approaches we have been analyzing in class). IDs will be selected from readings and lectures.
Part two (50 minutes) requires you to write either one essay or two short essays. In-class essays will be graded in terms of argument, clarity, explanation and evidence. In other words, I am looking for (1) A reasonable (logically consistent) argument or response to the question prompt; (2) A clear, well-organized essay with a (short) introduction, body and conclusion, logical transitions from one paragraph to another and coherent paragraphs in which the body of the paragraph supports the topic sentence; (3) Explanation of the logic or causal mechanisms underpinning the main argument and supporting claims. If you are arguing that government intervention reduces economic growth, explain why (for example, individual policy-makers are not as knowledgeable as decentralized markets. The former cannot be an expert in everything, whereas the latter engages people with all sorts of different backgrounds); (4) Finally, arguments should be supported with evidence. Evidence is defined broadly to include statistics, examples, events, anecdotes and references to the reading. For example, one could support the preceding argument by citing slower growth rates in Europe (a statistic), the collapse of Communism (an event) or Adam Smith (a reading). Evidence should include references to the course reading (of course, full citations are neither required nor expected) and lectures.

Newspaper assignments (10%)

Final (40%)
The Final will be a cumulative in-class exam on December 11 at 8:00 a.m.


Reading Assignments
This course includes a heavy reading load (100-150 page per week) to help you become efficient and active readers. You are expected to complete all required readings by the date listed on the syllabus. We will post discussion questions to guide your reading, but you should always consider the following: What is the author’s main point or argument? What evidence does s/he offer to support this view? Is the argument and evidence compelling? Can I think of arguments / evidence that support / undermine this? Why is this piece on the syllabus? How does it relate to previous readings? How can I use this piece in an essay?

You are asked to follow basic etiquette in class by arriving and leaving on time, silencing all telecommunication devices, raising your hand before speaking in class and refraining from insults or threatening behavior--or any other behavior that would hurt others.. We will lower your participation grade if you do not adhere to these basic guidelines.

Late Papers
We expect you to attend all exams and turn in all assignments on time. Late assignments will be deducted by two-thirds of a letter grade once the deadline has passed. Extensions and make-up exams are reserved for documented medical and family emergencies. Extension requests are more compelling if you contact us in advance about a potentially disruptive medical or family condition.

Plagiarism, the act of using another person’s words or ideas and presenting it as your own deliberately or by accident, is viewed as a particularly serious offense and will be reported to Student Conduct and prosecuted to the fullest extent possible. Note that plagiarism includes not only the unattributed use of specific words, but also extends to ideas, charts, data and phrasing. Make sure you identify the source of any material that is not your own. You do not need to cite facts that are common knowledge, but the words and phrasing should be your own and not someone else’s.  

Grade Changes
Computational errors should be brought our attention immediately. Other grade appeals should be submitted in writing no sooner than 7 days and no later than 21 days after receiving a graded assignment. Such appeals should explain why the previous grade was inaccurate in one to two pages and include a copy of the original assignment. Upon receipt of an appeal, we will re-grade the assignment in its entirety.  We reserve the right to lower a grade if we discover mistakes that we overlooked initially.

Study Breaks
There is a lot of reading for this course.  You will need study breaks.  Reading poems--and reading them aloud to your study group---provides a great study break.  Here is a link with some poems.  I will sprinkle links throughout the syllabus

*There will be an alternative written discussion opportunity for those who are not on Facebook