Political Economy

Degree Programme: Social Administration (4th semester – elective)

Degree Programme : Political Science (4th semester – elective)

Teaching hours: 3 per week – ECTS: 5

Course tutors: Christos Papatheodorou, Professor

Stefanos Papanastasiou, Dr



E-mail: christos@socadm.duth.gr,


Course website: http://elearning.socadm.duth.gr/moodle/

Description and Aims:

The subject of this course is Political Economy, the approach within the framework of economic science which argues that economic relationships are: a) social relationships and not just individual transactions and b) closely related to the rest of social relationships (i.e political). In consequence, according to Political Economy, the economy should be studied from a social point of view. In this context, human labor has a very particular role, non-attributable to other productive forces. This is most often expressed through the Theory of the Value of Labor, the thesis that social wealth is basically created by labor, and the prices of the commodities are determined from the human labor that has been spent for their production.

The emphasis of the course is on economic analysis. In this context, especially in the introductory parts of the course, economic analysis is combined with issues related to methodology, history of economic thought and social and economic history.

Emphasis is given to the following issues:

  1. The association of the science of economic relationships with society and with the social developments and social conflicts
  2. The specificity of (human) labor in the creation of social wealth
  3. The importance of social relationships and especially of social classes (and their between conflicts) in economy
  4. The distinctive characteristics of capitalism as a socio-economic system
  5. The creation of relationships of economic exploitation within the capitalist system
  6. The financial crises and their correlation with the processes of the reproduction of the capitalist system


  • The birth and evolution of capitalism
  • The economic, social and political developments that lead to the need for a separate economic science
  • The nature of political economy and its emerged as the first approach for studying economy.
  • The interaction between economic, social and political relationships.
  • From political economy to economics. Methodology change and framework of analysis.
  • Classical Political economy. Methodological and analytical issues.
  • Distinguished theoreticians of classical political economy (Adam Smith, David Ricardo)
  • Theory of the Value of Labor.
  • Marxist Political Economy. Surplus theory. Accumulation and reproduction.
  • Theory of economic crises.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • comprehend the circumstances under which a separate economic science, and its association with the society and the social developments and conflicts, are historically formulated.
  • understand that the economic relations are not autonomous, but they are closely related to the other social and political relations.
  • conceive the complexity of contemporary social problems, enabling effective mapping and evaluating pertinent policies.
  • critically assess the main schools of thought and comprehend the differences of political economy with economics in regards to methodology and the framework of analysis.
  • develop their critical thinking and enhance their skills in writing and presenting a research paper.


A written assignment (course work) and its public presentation with oral examination (100%).



  • Μαυρουδέας Σ, (2006), Η πολιτική οικονομία και η κριτική της, Αθήνα: Τυπωθήτω – Γιώργος Δάρδανος
  • Sweezy P, 1942, The Theory of Capitalist Development: Principles of Marxian Political Economy, London: Dobson Books [in Greek: Sweezy P, 2004, Η θεωρία της καπιταλιστικής ανάπτυξης: Αρχές της μαρξιστικής πολιτικής οικονομίας, Αθήνα: Gutenberg]
  • Heilbroner R. L., 1999, The wordly philosophers, (seventh edition), New Yourk; Touchstone [in Greek; Heilbroner R. L., 2000, Οι φιλόσοφοι του οικονομικού κόσμου, Αθήνα: Κριτική]
  • Lecture notes and additional bibliography in electronic form (course website)


  • Αγγελίδης Μ./Ψυχοπαίδης Κ. (επ.), 1992, Κείμενα πολιτικής οικονομίας και θεωρίας της πολιτικής, Αθήνα: Εξάντας.
  • Βλάχου Α, Θεοχαράκης Μ & Μυλωνάκης Δ (επιμ.), 2011, Οικονομική κρίση και Ελλάδα, Αθήνα: Gutenberg
  • Βλάχου Α. (επιμ.), 2009, Πολιτική οικονομία του καπιταλισμού, Αθήνα: Κριτική
  • Bowles S., Edwards R. and Roosevelt F., 2005, Understanding Capitalism: Competition, Command, and Change, (third edition), Oxford: Oxford University press [Bowles S & Edwards R, Roosevelt, F. 2014, Κατανοώντας τον καπιταλισμό: Ανταγωνισμός, εντολή και μεταβολή στην οικονομία των ΗΠΑ , (2η συμπληρωμένη έκδοση), Αθήνα: Gutenberg]
  • Dobb, M., 1975, Theories of Value and Distribution since Adam Smith: Ideology and Economic Theory, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [in Greek: Dobb, M., 1995, Θεωρίες της αξίας και της διανομής . Από τον Ανταμ Σμιθ μέχρι σήμερα: Ιδεολογία και οικονομική θεωρία, Αθήνα: Gutenberg.]
  • Gouverneur, J., 1999, Ανακαλύπτοντας την οικονομία: Ορατά φαινόμενα και κρυμμένες πραγματικότητες, Τυπωθήτω – Γιώργος Δαρδανός.
  • Marx, K. 1990-92, Capital: Critique of Political Economy, (Volumes 1, 2, 3), Penguin, [in Greek: Marx K., 1996, Το Κεφάλαιο. Κριτική της Πολιτικής Οικονομίας, Αθήνα: Σύγχρονη εποχή.]
  • Marx K., 1992, Βασικές Γραμμές της Κριτικής της Πολιτικής Οικονομίας, Αθήνα: Στοχαστής.
  • Πετραλιάς, Ν.Σ., 1991 : Πολιτική Οικονομία Ι (Πανεπιστημιακές Παραδόσεις 1991-92), Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών, Αθήνα.
  • Schumpeter J.A., 2010, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, London: Routledge. [in Greek: Schumpeter J.A., 2006, Καπιταλισ μός, Σοσιαλισμός και Δημοκρατία, Αθήνα: Παπαζήσης.]
  • Screpanti, E. & Zamagni, S., 2005, On outline of the history of economic thought, (second edition), Oxford: Oxford University Press. [in Greek: Screpanti, E. & Zamagni, S., 2004, Η Ιστορία της Οικονομικής Σκέψης. Αθήνα: Τυπωθήτω – Γιώργος Δαρδανός]
  • Harvey, D., 2005, A brief history of neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press [in Greek: Χάρβεϊ Ντ., 2007, Νεοφιλελευθερισμός. Ιστορία και Παρόν, Αθήνα: Καστανιώτης.]