Topics in Economics and Politics

Ludwig List
Arts and Society, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies
2024S, scientific seminar (SEW), 4.0 ECTS, 2.0 semester hours, course number S04484


Course Content


This module represents a course on the history of economic thought. It tries to offer a problem-oriented introduction into the history of economic thought and its historical context from a critical, macroeconomic perspective. Apart from presenting various basic economic concepts, several goals, instruments and fundamental debates in economic theory and policy will be explained and discussed.

The focus of this course lies in

  • A critical analysis of traditional goals of economic policy
  • A basic overview of several different economic paradigms

Learning Outcomes

This course’s goal is to

  • Analyse todays’ problems related to Austrian, European and international economic policy
  • Create awareness of the need for more engagement with economic history and history of economic thought

After finishing the course, the students should be able to

  • Assess problems of economic policy using social and economic criteria
  • Differentiate between different points of view regarding economic theory and policy
  • Use a wider array of arguments for future debates


Course Design

At the beginning of the lecture, the lecturer introduces the students to specific topics and gives a short summary of important persons in the history of economic thought with emphasis on the respective historical context. To prepare themselves the students read one or several text passages or chapters of classics in the history of economic thought.

In general, the course design tries to provide ample space for discussion with the goal of comparing different points of view. Finally, it should motivate the students to elaborate proper arguments on their own and to gain experiences in the presentation of content and their own opinions.

Examination Modalities

Grades are given based on the students’ active participation as well as their presentation in groups (40 %) and an essay (60%). Bonus points may be achieved via the submission of summaries discussing the content of the class and the texts discussed.


The essay

For successfully passing the course, you are expected to write an essay about any of the following economic schools of thought.

You are expected to read and summarise the given literature and add sources you find on your own. Additionally, you are expected to completment the summary with your own thoughts. A "perfect" essay can score you up to 60% of your grade. Your essay will be graded with the following questions in mind. Text written by AI or any form of plagiarism will be scored with 0%!

- Has the essay summarised the available literature well?  (40%)

- Were all sources properly cited? (10%)

- Did the student properly explain their own thoughts on the literature, the connections she made between the portrayed theory and other phenomena or debates? (10%)

1. Ancient economic thought

2. Medieval economic thought

3. Mercantilism

4. Physiocrats

5. Classical School of Political Economy I (Malthus & Ricardo)

6. Classical School of Political Economy II (Martineau, Mill and more)

7. Marxism

8. Marginalism/Neoclassical Economics

9. Institutionalism

10. The Austrian School

11. Keynesianism

12. Monetarism




Ludwig List:


Recommended Literature

Allen, R. C. (2011). Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction (1 edition). Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press.

Blaug, M. (1997). Economic Theory in Retrospect (5 edition). Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Hobsbawm, E. (1989). The Age of Empire: 1875-1914 (Reprint edition). New York: Vintage.

Hobsbawm, E. (1996). The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991 (1st edition). New York: Vintage.

Hobsbawm, E. (2000). The Age of Capital, 1848-75. London: Orion Pub Co.

Kurz, H. D. (2017). Geschichte des ökonomischen Denkens (2nd ed.). München: C.H.Beck.

Robbins, L. (2000). A History of Economic Thought: The LSE Lectures (New Ed edition). Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Key Words

economics, history of economic thought, political economy, Marxism, Keynesianism, guided reading


23 May 2024, 10:00–16:00 Seminar Room 32
24 May 2024, 10:00–16:00 Seminar Room 32
27 May 2024, 10:00–16:00 Seminar Room 32
28 May 2024, 10:00–16:00 Seminar Room 32

Course Enrolment

From 05 February 2024, 00:00 to 23 May 2024, 23:54
Via online registration

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Master): Study Areas 1-3: Study Area 3: Economics and Politics 569/020.03

Cross-Disciplinary Strategies (Bachelor): Economy and Politics: Deepening / Application 700/004.20

Co-registration: possible

Attending individual courses: possible