Political Economy

Expand Your Worldview

Tackle tough issues of politics and economics and see our modern world in a new light

Traditionally, the study of politics and economics was combined. Modern thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith, John Locke, and Karl Marx referred to themselves as political economists: analysts who understood the intricate relations between politics and economics. Unfortunately, followers of these intellectual giants later divided the study of “economics” and “political science” from political economy. By restoring the study of political economy, The College of Idaho offers students the unique opportunity to explore, question, and study the social world as great thinkers once did and as innovative scholars do today. Agreeing with contemporaries ranging from Thomas Piketty, Sven Steinmo, Ha-Joon Chang, and Paul Krugman, we embrace the normative and moral purpose of political economy to improve the human condition.  We do this by breaking down artificial boundaries commonly accepted in political science and economics programs elsewhere and by committing our students to appreciate culture and history as they examine the institutions, rules, and policies that shape social change.  

WHY STUDY POLITICAL ECONOMY AT THE COLLEGE OF IDAHO?

The Department of Political Economy offers two majors through the PEAK curriculum: Political Economy and International Political Economy. We also offer minors in Political Economy and International Development and support the College’s program in Environmental Studies and minors in Pre-law, Asian Studies, Criminal Justice Studies, and Speech Rhetoric.

Our political economy students are challenged to understand and analyze human society, to reassess personal values regarding economic and political issues, and to gain an understanding of economic and political principles within a broad domestic and global societal context. Through in-depth study of major political and economic philosophies and through conducting original research, students in our program develop lasting analytical, research, and communication skills.

Students who pursue coursework in international political economy study global markets, international security, trade, culture, poverty, and social problems in foreign countries generally. They apply social science concepts, theories and analytical tools as they evaluate political and economic developments across the world. IPE majors are required to demonstrate competency in at least one foreign language and are strongly encouraged to participate in Model UN and study abroad during their academic program.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR POLITICAL ECONOMY MAJORS

Our graduates reflect the broad interests of students attracted to our majors and minors. They pursue careers in law, management, international business, foreign affairs, finance, journalism, humanitarian work, international development, education, and other related careers. Numerous alumni have also developed successful careers in public service through elected office, the civil service, and issue advocacy.