RHI-10806 Economics and Policy in Historical Perspective


Studiepunten 6.00

Lecturer(s)prof. dr. EC van Ierland
dr. ir. JHM Peerlings
dr. MA de Haas
prof. dr. EHP Frankema
Examiner(s)dr. AJAM Schuurman
prof. dr. EC van Ierland
dr. ir. JHM Peerlings

Language of instruction:



This introductory course for the program Economics and Governance consists of three parts. Students get a short survey of 20th century economic and social history in Western Europe with a focus on the role of the state and the market. Special attention will be given to the redefinition of the welfare state against the background of the changing role of the nation state due to the processes of globalization and European Integration. In the second part of this course market failure and opportunities for government intervention in the economic process are discussed. Concrete economic policy instruments will be presented. Attention will be paid to policies in the field of the environment, nature, nutrition and spatial aspects. The relationship between national, European and global policies will be discussed in more detail. Students get acquainted with the notion of governance. Finally, we will go into the matter of how you can analyse systematically economic policy questions. The third part of the course is an introduction in information literacy.

Learning outcomes:

After this course students are expected to be able to:
- name economic policy instruments in the field of environment, nature, nutrition and spatial aspects;
- name themes in the study of economic policy making and governance in general;
- assess new events against the background of long term developments;
- assess the role of the state and the market in economic policy;
- understand the relationship between national, European and global policy making;
- use the Wageningen digital environment;
- acquire and assess information by using Wageningen Desktop Library;
- apply the rules for writing a paper.


Lectures, literature study, 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. For information literacy they have to fulfil an assignment.


A written exam based on the lectures, the papers and the obligatory literature. The final mark is the result of this written exam and the quality of the paper. The paper is assessed on its content (does it reflect the literature? does it show elaboration of the literature? is there a clear argument?) and technical aspects (composition, formulation, citation). The presentation is assessed according to clarity and time-management.


- Schulze, M. (1999), Western Europe. Economic and social changes since 1945. London/New York: Longman.
- Reader Economie en beleid in historisch perspectief (Distributed at the first lecture).
- Schuurman, A.J., Academische vaardigheden. Verzamelen, selecteren, lezen, verwerken en produceren van informatie. (Available at the WUR-shop)
- Literature for papers.
A course guide can be found on the educlass of this course.

Verplicht voor: BEBEconomics and GovernanceBSc1AF