History of Economic Thought (Online)

Course summary

History of Economic Thought (Online)



Overview

This course evaluates the development of economic thought through the eyes of Greek, Chinese, Indian and European traditions before exploring economic thought in the context of the 20th Century. The course is historical in content and international in perspective allowing students to develop a critical understanding of the influence of evolving economic thought on contemporary global economics.

Listen to Dr Sangaralingam Ramesh talking about the course:

Economic thought has developed over time in a historical context. It can be argued that Economics has always been a philosophy rather than a Science. This is clearly evident from Greek, Chinese and Indian Economic thought. However, in the latter part of the 19th century Mathematics became the dominating force in Economics. This pivotal transformation of a philosophy into a mathematical subject, with the birth of neo-classical economics, had profound consequences for the analysis of the actions and inter-actions of human beings, and for policy debates about the role of the state in regulating national and international markets. Neoclassical economics has emphasised the rational behaviour of self-interested individuals and largely ignored the fact that humans are in essence part of nature, which the philosopher economists of Ancient Greece recognised. In recent years, aspects of economic thought have begun to make use of the insights of biological sciences.

For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

Programme details

1. Introduction


2. Economic thought in Ancient Greece
This module explores the contribution to economic thought of Aristotle and Plato.


3. Indian economic thought from Kautilya to Gandhi
This module explores the contribution to Indian economic thought of Kautilya, Ranade and Gandhi.


4. Chinese economic thought
This module explores Chinese economic thought with respect to Confucianism, Taoism, Moists and the Legalists.


5. Adam Smith, David Ricardo and classical European economic thought
This module explores the classical European economic thought especially with regards to the elucidation of a theory of value and a labour theory of value. The focus of classical European economic thought is on the accumulation of wealth and the economic mechanisms by which this occurs.

6. The economic thought of Karl Marx
The focus of analysis in this module is the economic thought of Karl Marx with an emphasis on the relationship between Capitalism and the worker.

7. Rise of neoclassical economics
This module evaluates the shift of economic thought from a qualitative perspective to a quantitative one. The emphasis is no longer the accumulation of wealth by society but a shift of focus to the individual.

8. Keynes and the Keynesian revolution
This module focuses on Keynes contribution to economic thought. Keynes challenged the orthodoxy of the day for its failure to adequately account for the mass unemployment which Keynes encountered in the 1930s.

9. Milton Friedman and Monetarism
The Golden Age from 1945 to 1973 during which Keynesian economic policies led to high levels of economic growth and low levels of inflation and unemployment in many countries failed abruptly in the mid to late 1970s with stagflation. This was rising inflation coupled with low levels of economic growth. Policymakers turned their attention to Friedman and Monetarism.

10. Alternative approaches to economic thought
Neo-Classical economics with its Mathematics and Physics background has dominated European economic thought for 100 years. However, now the focus of research is shifting towards the biological aspects of economic activity.

Recommended reading

To participate in this course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following books:

  • Sandmo, A., Economics Evolving: A History of Economic Thought,( Princeton University Press, 2011)
  • Medema, S. G., and Samuels, W. J., A History of Economic Thought: The LSE Lectures (Princeton University Press, 1998)
     

Certification

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.

For more information on CATS point please click on the link below: http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk/studentsupport/faq/cats.php

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting both course assignments and actively participating in the course forums. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Fees

EU Fee: £260.00
Non-EU Fee: £295.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00

Tutors

Dr Sangaralingam Ramesh

Tutor

Dr Ramesh was awarded a PhD in Economics by SOAS, University of London in 2009. At SOAS Dr Ramesh taught undergraduate and postgraduate students. In 2010, Dr Ramesh was appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Economics at University College London. He currently teaches at Kings College London and is an Associate Professor at the Université Paris Dauphine GBD in London.

Course aims

Course Aim:
To allow students to understand the evolution of economic thought from early Greek philosophy to its modern day analytical form as well as its advancement into the incorporation of the biological sciences.

Course Objectives:
To develop an understanding of how economic thought has developed over time.

Teaching methods

The course content will be both textbook and journal based. The journal articles assigned to each unit will be easy to read and give students a deeper understanding of the subject matter for that unit. Students will be provided with optional reading materials and each units learning objectives will be supported by online discussion forums. It is envisaged that each some units will be supported by podcast lectures, while other units will be supported by lecture notes or PowerPoint slides.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will be expected to understand the development of economic thought in the context of the evolving global economy.

By the end of this course students will be expected to have gained the following skills: An ability to identify the development of economic thought from a historical perspective and how the economic thought of one historical period has contributed to the development of economic thought in a subsequent period. At the end of the course students will also be able to clearly identify how economic theory has developed as a result of the evolution of economic thought.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

Application

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.