Political Economy

Welcome to the Unit
Head Univ.-Prof. Dr. Helen Callaghan


The political economy group studies the roles of politics and economy within society, their relationships between them and the potentials and limits of political control over economic and social actors and processes. Theoretical-conceptual as well as empirical and normative aspects are considered.

  • Theoretical-conceptual questions: How can the sphere of the political be distinguished from other social spheres, especially from the market? How can theories from neighbour disciplines (such as economics, sociology or psychology) be utilized to answer questions of political science?
  • Empirical questions: Which types of political control and governance strategies are utilized in which areas? How do states organize and control markets? How is political decision-making influenced by economic and social actors and processes? Under conditions of globalization, international interdependence and growing societal complexity and pluralization, how do the state's capacities for effective government and scope of action change?
  • Normative questions: How are relationships between state and market to be designed? To what extend can and should governments interfere with economic processes to ensure distributive justice? Is the provision of certain goods indispensable to safeguard democracy and the rule of law, and therefore non-negotiable?