GRA 5916 The State and the Market: Core Concepts in Political Economy

GRA 5916 The State and the Market: Core Concepts in Political Economy

Course code: 
GRA 5916
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Eileen Fugelsnes
Course name in Norwegian: 
The State and the Market: Core Concepts in Political Economy
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Elective course
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Market regulations are a product of political processes (in a broad sense), and their effects influence the viability of both firms and other societal institutions. Ensuring good regulation is therefore in society's interest.

This course provides students with an introduction to the concepts at the core of political economy in general, in terms of institutions, policymaking, and market regulation. It focuses on business and politics at the national level. The course covers several fundamental core concepts in political economy relating to the operation of the state and the market. The central themes include political and market institutions, the rationale for market regulation and public services, policymaking and resource allocation, and the deliverance of public and private goods.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Students will explore issues linked to democratic decision-making, including questions of equality, efficiency, and sustainability. They will engage in debates about market failure, government failure and the supply of public, private and strategic goods. They will discuss rules, organisations and policy tools involved in the operation of states and markets. Core questions include institutional design, policymaking, the delegation of power, legitimacy and accountability, and whether democracy causes or impedes market-driven economic growth.

Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Students will be able to analyse political, economic and social institutions and organisations, the relationship between them, and the dynamics of stability and change. Students will be applying analytical tools and empirical knowledge to practical political economy and public policy problems in new settings.
  • Students will gain a thorough understanding of research frameworks in public policy, governance, political economy and comparative politics, and be in a position to engage critically with the research-based literature in this field.
  • Students will be able to identify and assess policy problems, choosing appropriate analytical tools and applying them to current issues in governance, political economy and public policy.
  • Students will be able to assess and evaluate public policy options and actual policies in terms of both efficiency, justice and sustainability.
General Competence
  • Students will be in a position to assess the economic, ethical, social and political dimensions of public policy, and to evaluate it in term of norms such as the rule of law, transparency, accountability and legitimacy.
  • As a consequence they will be well placed to contribute constructively to the development of better policies.
Course content
  1. Introduction to political economy and the state-market relationship
  2. Market failures, state failures and the supply of public, private and strategic goods
  3. Political and market institutions, decision-making, lobbying, and public choice analysis
  4. Institutional, network and governance analyses of the policy process
  5. The relationship between states and markets, democracy and capitalism, accountability and efficiency, sustainability and economic growth.
Teaching and learning activities

The class sessions consist of lectures, case-based group work, application of analytical frameworks, and student presentations.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.


Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual ( 1 - 3)Term paper
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-3)
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:Term paper
Exam code:GRA59162
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.