RHI-10806 Economics and Governance in Historical Perspective


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Independent study
Course coordinator(s)dr. MA de Haas
Lecturer(s)dr P de Zwart
dr. MA de Haas
prof. dr. EHP Frankema
prof. dr. EC van Ierland
dr. R Ihle
Examiner(s)prof. dr. EHP Frankema

Language of instruction:



This introductory course for the program Economics and Governance aims to get students acquainted with some of the key themes of economic governance in 20th and 21st century Europe. The course consists of three parts. First, students are introduced to the key features of 'modern economic growth' in Western Europe. Special attention will be paid to economic policy reforms and the redefinition of the welfare state in the context of ongoing European integration after 1945. The second part of the course focuses on market failure and the opportunities for government intervention in the economy. Students will discuss concrete economic policy proposals and instruments in the field of the environment, nutrition and agriculture. The relationship between national, European and global governance will be analysed in more detail. The third part of the course is an introduction into information literacy. Students learn how to use the Wageningen digital environment, the Wageningen library, the proper application of academic referencing systems and the use of MS Excel for quantitative data collection and analysis.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- outline the key features of economic development and policy since 1945 in Western Europe and assess the role of the state and the market in modern economic growth;
- name and critically reflect upon economic governance instruments in the field of the environment, nutrition and agriculture;
- understand the complexities of the relationship between national, European and global economic governance;
- ability to distinguish processes of economic change from its governance and policy aspects, with the higher purpose of improving the analytical and conceptual reflection on the interaction between economics and governance. - use the Wageningen digital environment, including the collection of literature for written and verbal academic assignments;
- apply and understand the rules for proper scientific referencing;
- have a basic understanding of the functionalities of MS Excel for quantitative data collection and analysis;


- lectures;
- literature study and tutorials;
- it is expected that students will prepare the relevant literature for the lectures and that they participate actively in the discussions;
- students also have to write and present a (group) paper.


The learning objectives are assessed in two parts:
- First, students will write and present a paper in which they demonstrate their ability to report on a basic scientific investigation.
- Second, students will conduct a written exam (essay questions) based on the lectures and mandatory literature. The final grade consists of 50% for the paper (including the paper presentation) and 50% for the concluding exam.
Students will have to obtain a minimum of 5.5. for both parts in order to pass.


Barry Eigengreen. (2007). The European Economy since 1945. Princeton: Princeton UP. 495p.ISBN-13: 9780691138480.
Literature for papers.
A course guide can be found on the educlass of this course.

Compulsory for: BEBEconomics and GovernanceBSc1AF