Political Economic Theory

Columbia University is home to a strong group of scholars interested in formal models of political institutions and behavior. Political science faculty have developed influential theories of elections, conflict, legislatures, and bureaucratic politics. These theories are useful for motivating empirical work, and increasingly they form the basis of experimental research as well. Political economic theory spans the subfields of American politics, comparative politics, and international relations, and therefore complements students' interests in those fields.

Graduate students may qualify in political economic theory by minoring in political economic theory and taking POLS W4209 (Game Theory and Political Theory), POLS W4210 (Research Topics in Game Theory) and other suitable upper-level courses in the Departments of Political Science and Economics such as POLS G8211 (Political Economy of Institutions) and POLS G8821 (Topics in International Relations and Rational Choice). It is recommended that interested students acquire a strong background in mathematics or microeconomics.

Resources in Political Economic Theory

The ISERP Political Economy Seminar is an interdisciplinary workshop for the presentation of theoretical and empirical work on political economy. Advanced students are also encouraged to present work in progress in ISERP's Political Economy Breakfast.