Academic Departments and Programs

Political Economy

Traditionally, the study of politics and economics was combined. Modern thinkers like Adam Smith and John Locke were referred to as political economists: individuals who understood the intricate relationship between economics and politics. While these disciplines have become separated at many colleges, The College of Idaho recognizes that a good understanding of either discipline really requires a good understanding of both.

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. The Department of Political Economy also offers a Political Economy minor and is integral to the College's environmental studies major, and interdisciplinary minors in Asian studies, international development, education studies, criminal justice studies, pre-law and speech rhetoric for students with special interests in those areas.

Our political economy students are challenged to understand and analyze human society, to reassess personal values regarding economic and political issues, to gain an understanding of economic and political principles within a broad domestic and global societal context, to express complex and personally-developed political and economic positions both orally and in writing, to develop an understanding of major political/economic philosophies and questions of justice, and to develop the perspective, analytical methods and proficiency required to conduct research into issues of economic and political interest.

In addition, students who take courses in international political economy gain a substantive knowledge of the political and economic life of selected foreign countries and to apply social science concepts, theories and analytical tools to the political and economic policies of those countries. International Political Economy majors are required to gain competency in at least one foreign language and all students in the department are encouraged to do so.

The department has a 3+3 BA or BS/JD cooperative program with the University of Idaho whereby students can complete a Bachelor of Arts or Science from The College of Idaho and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Idaho. Students pursuing any major are encouraged to explore this unique opportunity. See the "Cooperative Programs" section for specific requirements.

Career Opportunities for C of I Political Economy Students

Our Political Economy major is designed for students primarily interested in domestic politics, law, economics/business related careers and public policy. The International Political Economy major is designed for students whose primary interests lie in the study of international politics, international economics/business and foreign affairs. Numerous C of I alumni have gone on to successful careers in government service and have been elected to local, state and national office, including two governors of Idaho and a governor of Oregon. Writing and journalism, language studies, humanitarian and non-profit work, teaching and ministry are also possible career choices for political economy students.

Majors

International Political Economy Major

35 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Introductory Core

POE-120

International Politics

3

POE-250

Introduction to Political Philosophy

3

POE-263

Introduction to Political Economy

3

POE-299

Evidence, Proof, and Knowledge

3

Additional Requirements

POE-302 or
POE-351

Economic Development or
Politics in Developing Countries

3

POE-360 or
POE-321

Comparative Politics or
Comparative Economics

3

POE-376 or
POE-380

International Economics or
International Political Economy

3

POE-499

Senior Seminar

3

POE ELEC

Political Economy elective credits

11

MFL Department Foreign Language Requirement (see Notes below)  

Notes

Foreign Language Requirement: Students pursuing a major IPE must demonstrate competence in one foreign language at the intermediate level. Competence will be measured by successful completion of two intermediate-level college semester courses in a foreign language or by passing a standardized intermediate-level foreign language examination.

Students who plan to enter graduate school or law school are encouraged to write a senior thesis. The thesis topic, definition of terms, method of analysis, and bibliography must be carefully planned and approved by the department at the conclusion of the junior year and successful completion of POE-299. During the senior year, students writing a thesis will enroll in POE-480, which partially fulfills the 400-level seminar requirement.

Political Economy Major

35 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Introductory Core

POE-100 or
POE-241

Essentials of American Government or
Introduction to Public Policy

3

POE-120

International Politics

3

POE-250

Introduction to Political Philosophy

3

POE-263

Introduction to Political Economy

4

POE-299

Evidence, Proof, and Knowledge

3

Additional Requirements

POE-498

Senior Seminar

3

POE ELEC

Political Economy elective credits

17

Notes

Students who plan to enter graduate school or law school are encouraged to write a senior thesis. The thesis topic, definition of terms, method of analysis and bibliography must be carefully planned and approved by the Department at the conclusion of the junior year and successful completion of POE-299. During the senior year, students writing a thesis will enroll in POE-480, which partially fulfills the 400-level seminar requirement.

Associated Majors

Minors

The International Development minor is designed for students interested in development and related issues such as economic growth, poverty, globalization, culture change, and political order. Grounded in the discipline of Political Economy, this minor is an excellent field for students interested in how society organizes itself through government, the market, and non-governmental actors. As a minor program, it is a useful complement to other major and minors in the Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Professional Studies. Students with primary interests in this topic should consider the International Political Economy major. The minor consists of 15-16 credits.

International Development Minor

15-16 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

POE-120

International Politics

3

POE-263 or
POE-299T

Introduction to Political Economy or
Poverty in Africa and Asia

3
3

Complete 2 courses from the following:

ATH-305

Culture Change and the World System

3

POE-302

Economic Development

3

POE-351

Politics of Developing Countries

3

Complete 1 course from the following:

ASN-302.1

Southeast Asia: Traditions and Transitions

4

ATH-249

Natives of South America

3

POE-321

Comparative Economics

3

POE-360

Comparative Politics

3

POE-370

Political Economy of China

3

POE-374

Political Economy of Southeast Asia

3

POE-376

International Economics

3

POE-380

International Political Economy

3

Notes

To complete the minor, students must also revise a paper written in one of the minor courses as a starred paper and submit it to all faculty members who service the minor. This non-credit requirement is to demonstrate satisfactory research and writing abilities within the minor.

Political Economy involves analyzing and explaining the ways in which government affects the allocation of scarce resources in society through public policies AND the ways the economic system affects the policies created by government. In this program, students are required to develop critical reasoning skills while recognizing the importance of economic, political, and philosophical principles in the process of developing a better understanding of how Western and non-Western societies interact with each other and provide for their material well-being.

Political Economy is an excellent field for students interested in how society organizes itself through government, the market, and non-governmental actors. It is a fine complement for programs that are affected by political economic forces both domestically and globally.

Political Economy Minor
15 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

POE-100 or
POE-241

Essentials of American Government or
Introduction to Public Policy

3

POE-120

International Politics

3

POE-250

Introduction to Political Philosophy

3

POE-263

Introduction to Political Economy

3

POE ELEC

300-Level Political Economy Elective Course

3

The Pre-Law Minor is meant to create a foundation in preparation for a career in law. As a professional enhancement minor, the Pre-Law Minor is further designed to help prepare students to succeed in law school. Through the minor students will be introduced to the American political system, precedent-setting Supreme Court cases, and philosophical/ethical frameworks for judging legal questions.

Pre-Law Minor

18 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

POE-241

Introduction to Public Policy

3

POE-250

Introduction to Political Philosophy

3

POE-300

Constitutional Law I

3

POE-301 or
BUS-391

Constitutional Law II or
Legal Environment

3

Complete 1 course from the following (Department recommended courses -

ENG-219, ENG-235 or ENG-324)

ENG-200 Level or
ENG-300 Level

Introduction to Literary Studies Course or
Theory and Methods Course

3

Complete 1 Ethics course from the following:

PHI-201

The Good Life

3

PHI-202

Bioethics

3

Notes

There are multiple pathways to law school. No particular major is recommended. Indeed law schools accept students who have majored in everything from Music to Environmental Studies. Regardless of the major, students would benefit from courses in several disciplines not required for the minor including: International Relations, History, Sociology, and Environmental Studies.

Associated Minors