• University of Nottingham

The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians

Investigate links between economics and politicians with Sir Vince Cable and leading economists at the University of Nottingham.

The Politics of Economics and the Economics of Politicians
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $64Find out more

Find out about the link between politics and economics with Sir Vince Cable.

How does economics impact on politicians? And how do politicians impact on economics?

You will study both contemporary economics and the political leaders who have put key economic theories into practice throughout history.

Learn from experts in the field

The course is led by Sir Vince Cable, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham.

You will also learn from leading economists at the University of Nottingham, including Head of School Professor Kevin Lee and Professor of Political Economy Cecilia Testa.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsPolitics and economics are usually studied as separate subjects, but in the real world they're interconnected. Politicians often talk about economic matters-- jobs, prices, wages, profits, trade, investment, productivity, growth. And economists produce theories leading to policies which politicians implement. Politics, it's been said, is economics studied seriously. Great economists like Adam Smith called their subject "political economy," with good reason. This course brings politics and economics together by looking at political figures who have changed economic history. Of the seven I've chosen, only one actually studied economics, Ludwig Erhard, whose policies enabled the post-war German economic miracle. By contrast, Franklin Roosevelt-- FDR, author of the American interwar New Deal-- boasted that he knew no economics.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsBut he did have good economic advisors, as did Mrs. Thatcher, who applied what she called common sense housewife's economics in the UK. In the case of the modernising Japan, the Meiji emperor was just a figurehead for effective technocrats. Some of our economic heroes are seriously improbable. I mean, nobody in history has done more through economic policy to lift literally hundreds of millions of people out of poverty than Deng Xiaoping. Almost as improbable is the man who gave effect to the immensely powerful idea of free trade, Sir Robert Peel. And Alexander Hamilton, who 200 years ago laid the economic foundations of the United States.

Skip to 1 minute and 55 secondsThroughout the course, we'll use the economic principles espoused by these seven political figures as a starting point to explore deeper economic theories and the wider impact they may have had on the world in which we live today.

What topics will you cover?

This course covered the following topics:

  • The scope and method of economics
  • Alexander Hamilton and the role of state in the economy
  • Sir Robert Peel and Free Trade
  • The Meiji Emperor and Industrialisation
  • Franklin D Roosevelt and Demand Management
  • Ludwig Erhard and Supply Side Economics
  • Margaret Thatcher and Monetarism and Rolling Back the State
  • Deng Xiaoping and Growth, Development and Convergence

When would you like to start?

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Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in economics and politics, and for those studying economics at pre-university or undergraduate level. No previous experience or qualifications are required.

Who will you learn with?

Vince  Cable

Vince Cable

Former MP and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 2010–2015. Visiting Professor at University of Nottingham and Professor in Practice at LSE. Lib Dem leader since July 2017.

Cecilia Testa

Cecilia Testa

I am a professor at the University of Nottingham. My research interests lie in the area of Political Economy.

Who developed the course?

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham is committed to providing a truly international education, inspiring students with world-leading research and benefitting communities all around the world.

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