Political Economics


The course is an introduction to political economy, with four main objectives: (i) to examine, historically, how the discipline went from political economy to economics and why it acquired the current characteristics. Thus, students can develop a critical stance on what the discipline of economics and the mainstream press presents as a way of thinking about economics and ecoomic problems. (ii) introduce some important indicators and concepts, using real data - from Portugal and others. Thus, students can understand useful indicators and concepts on a daily basis; (iii) analyze the structures and dynamics of the Portuguese economy and its integration in Europe and the world, and compare and contrast different approaches; and (iv) look at the great world dynamics and the challenges they pose to the thinking, method and reconstruction of the economics as a social science.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carlos Nuno das Neves D'Assa Castel-Branco


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Non applicable


Amaral, João Ferreira, Francisco Louçã, et al (2007) Introdução à Macroeconomia (2ª edição). Escolar Editora.
Brito, Luís, Carlos Castel-Branco et al (orgs.) (2017). Desafios para Moçambique 2017. IESE: Maputo.
Fine, Ben (2016) Microeconomics, a critical companion. Pluto Press: London (also available in Kindle format)
Fine, Ben & Ourania Dimakou (2016) Macroeconomics, a critical companion. Pluto Press: London (also available in Kindle format)
Fine, Ben & Zavareth Rustomjee (1996) The political economy of South Africa - from minerals-energy complex to industrialization. West View Press
Louçã, Francisco & Mariana Mortágua (2012) A Dívidadura Portugal na crise do Euro. Bertrand Editora

Teaching method

Given the potentially large number of students in this course - compulsory and in the first semester of the first year of the licenciatura - we will have to focus on lectures in large classes and assessment tests. These methods will be combined with the periodic distribution of exercise sheets that will compel students to write small essays, which will have to be based on an understanding of the literature and tools of analysis (these exercises will be evaluated). Depending on the number of students, we will circulate such a sheet for each of the four program units of the course. For the component on the Portuguese economy, the third program unit, we are going to invite two Portuguese economist professors who study the Portuguese economy, to give the classes and promote a debate. Depending on the number of students, we intend to hold seminars at the end of the program for discussion of large 4-5 topics that have left the chair.

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1. How has the discipline changed from classical political economy, focused on understanding the causes and processes of growth (or accumulation) and economic and social transformation within specific historical contexts, to marginalist and formalized economics, focused on equilibrium and stability, without historical context? History, research questions, method and tensions.
2. Concepts and tools useful in economic analysis, and their relationship to research questions and methods.
3. Portuguese economy (or political economy), Europe and the World, discussed from different approaches, issues, methods and instruments of analysis.
4. Alternative approaches to mainsteeam economics? Rebuilding issues and methods from the challenges that the real political economy poses, under specific historical conditions.


Programs where the course is taught: