Explain and critically analyse the ways in which economic and political institutions affect policy-making

    Unit description This unit aims to bring together broad conceptual concerns on the interplay of politics, public policy and the economy in the modern world with the in-depth analysis of national cases. The focus will be primarily (although not exclusively) on European countries. These are the fundamental questions that we will address: 1) what are the political, ideological and economic underpinnings of contemporary capitalism? 2) Are there one or many capitalisms 3) Does the organisation of the economy affect economic performance, politics and policy-making? The answers to these questions will be sought by studying the interaction between political and economic factors and their public policy implications. Research Essay Students are required to submit a research essay of 4000 words in length. The research essay should cover one of the broad topics covered in weeks 2-12. The essay should answer a tightly focused question that must be connected to the academic literature relevant to the topic. You must use at least seven academic sources (see below). You are expected to formulate your own question and research it in detail. The essay should focus on one specific country (including but not limited to Australia) or policy, or be comparative. The question should be cleared with me before you start writing the research essay. What are acceptable academic sources? ● Articles in peer reviewed academic journals ● Books, edited books and chapters in edited books published by university presses or academic publishers (e.g. Routledge, Palgrave) ● PhD Theses or Working papers from universities This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes: Explain and critically analyse the ways in which economic and political institutions affect policy-making. Identify and critically analyse current theories of economic governance and apply them to several political systems around the world. Identify, explain and critically evaluate the institutional complementarities underlying modern economic governance and how they vary across countries in Europe and elsewhere. Identify, critically analyse and discuss the major debates and controversies involved in issues such inequality, labour market liberalisation, the institutional convergence or divergence of capitalist systems, and the mutual relationship between economic and political institutions. Locate, analyse and synthesise different kinds of evidence about comparative capitalism from a range of sources. Communicate research findings and recommendations effectively, both orally and in written form Master the literature on comparative capitalism. Essay Rubric The paper should have and will be graded based off the following criteria: Argument- Argument which is highly complex, logical, consist, and engaging. Shows a strong development of conceptual/ theoretical points. Critical Analysis- Sharp and insightful critical analysis, excellent interrogation of underlying assumptions and contested concepts. Highly original and creative contribution to debate Knowledge and Understanding- Exceptional in-depth knowledge of the relevant subject matter. Provides a clear and complex explanation of theories and concepts using own understanding with a sophisticated attempt to apply this knowledge. Evidence of very wide reading and insightful interpretation of evidence. Evidence/ Resources- Use of a very wide range of highly relevant academic sources which clearly support the arguments presented. Insightful and creative use of relevant examples. Structure/ Organisation- Highly logical and consistent structure throughout which strongly supports the arguments presented. Content highly purposeful with excellent use of sign-posting. Excellent use of introduction and conclusion as structuring tools. Keeps within the required word length Style and Presentation- Correct use of English grammar, clear expression, shows high level of creativity and flair in the use of language. Referencing- Fair use of sources with no evidence of plagiarism, correct use of referencing styles throughout. .

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