Economy and society

lecon2340  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Economy and society
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
5 credits
30.0 h
Ferreras Isabelle; Thiry Géraldine; Thiry Géraldine (compensates Ferreras Isabelle);
Main themes
As a first step, from a socio-economic problem given different analytical frameworks will be developed in turn by the sociologist and economist. At best, three or four frames must be submitted and in any event, two frames are the minimum number. The diversity of approaches must be real and marked so that the objective of the course can be achieved. For example, if a specific issue in the field of social policy was taken as a common problem, the teachers how to develop (a) the new institutional economics, (b) the economy of the conventions, (c) the neoclassical theory Contract or (d) economic sociology address this issue. In a second step, we compare these analytical frameworks them to better understand their contributions and their limitations and their impact on the design of public policies.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 The course of Economy and Society is given jointly by a sociologist and an economist. The course aims to introduce students to the analysis of economic issues through interdisciplinary, ie in Dialogue between, particularly, the contribution of economics and sociology to the analysis of economic facts. Several current or methodological paradigms will be reviewed in order to awaken students to the plurality of views and tools available for analysis. It is also to understand how the diversity of these analytical frameworks in our societies influence the nature of public debate and the processes of political decision. After completing this course, students should be able to better understand the specificities of the different analytical frameworks. It will be able to take a critical look at the benefits and limitations of key approaches. This course is linked to the purpose of "Political Economy, standards and institutions" which it provides the light on the multi-economic facts which is based .
The course is taught in English.
Different analytical frameworks - from sociological andeconomic fields - will be developed. We will highlight their foundations and reflect on how to address the socio-economic issues (design of economic agents, market, public action of the State ...). Our aim, in this course, is to introduce students to systematically assess the scope and implications of different social sciences approaches to economic phenomena.  The analyses will address two specific topics: labor and nature.  The methodology developed will allow the student to mobilize these different strands of analysis in relation to two socio-economic issues (work and nature) to develop a pluralist perspective on economic facts and on public policies resulting from these strands. 
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

Given the sanitary constraints, the course will be entirely taught online, through TEAMS.
The main feature of this course will be its will to engage students as peers instructing one another. Advance readings have to be made prior to the session, and the dynamic on TEAMS will be as interactive as possible. You are expected to be willing to get actively involved during the e-class and make the required readings prior to it. If for any reason this is not an option for you, we recommend you not to take this course, or we urge you to come to discuss your concerns with the instructors.
This is especially important because the course is based on the readings, and on the students’ personal contributions to the discussion in class. This course is structured as a reading seminar in which students have maximal space for participation (as much as possible given the sanitary constraints). The instructors’ role will be to offer synthesis or clarification, but the material of the course will be built up from the readings and the discussions. This class is instructed in English as a way to offer you an opportunity in your curriculum to hold conceptual and intellectual discussion in English, more than to deal with technical problems and vocabulary. The course material is composed of the slides, and of the instructors’ notes offered as full back-up for your personal notes. These should ease the task of those who fear not to be fully competent in English. A fully passive command of English is required in order to understand readings and discussions in class. A weaker active command is acceptable, reflected in the fact that the oral exam is offered in both English and French.
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

Students will be assessed on the basis of an oral exam at the end of the semester (offered in English and in French according to the student’s preference).
Other information
Prerequisite: Political Economics, basic course sociology
Course support: Reading Portfolio (available on Moodle)
Online resources
The course material is to be found on moodle :
Teaching materials
  • les slides du cours, les notes de cours, et des articles scientifiques disponibles sur Moodle
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Political Sciences: General

Master [120] in Economics: General

Master [120] in Sociology

Certificat d'université en éthique économique et sociale

Master [60] in Economics : General

Master [120] in Ethics

Master [60] in Sociology and Anthropology

Master [60] in Philosophy

Master [120] in Philosophy

Master [120] in Motor Skills: Physical Education