Fall/Winter Timetable

POL371H1S L5101

The Spatial Construction of the Political Economy


This course aims to explore how economic agents act and interact in space and how this creates subdivisions within the global, national and regional political economy. In a largely conceptual and interdisciplinary manner, it investigates the role of institutions in the spatial construction of the political economy. Institutions are viewed as formal or informal stabilizations of economic interaction. Questions which guide the analysis are related to how institutions are established, how they evolve, how they impact economic action, and how they are changed through political action at different spatial scales. Through this, the course introduces a relational and spatial perspective to the analysis of economic action and institutions. This perspective is based on the assumption that economic action is situated in socio-institutional contexts, evolves along particular paths and, at the same time, remains fundamentally contingent. The course explores the interdependencies between institutions and industrial organization, interaction, innovation and evolution. Topics to be discussed include the social construction of economic space, industrial organization and location, the establishment and maintenance of economic networks, as well as processes of firm formation, learning and knowledge creation.


Course reader

Format and Requirements

One two-hour lecture per week. The course work consists of the following components: a research paper and proposal, and a final exam.


ECO 100Y or ECO 105Y


1.0 POL credit