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The Reichstag glass dome in Berlin
Faculties and schools_

Department of Political Economy

The evolution of political and economic ideas
We investigate broad economic questions within social and political contexts through a variety of perspectives and methodologies.

Our department is home to the largest group of political economists at any Australian university. We analyse and investigate:

  • issues of power and inequality 
  • the forces of globalisation and their impact on national policy settings
  • the concentration of economic activity, wealth and opportunities
  • the trade-offs between the free market perspective and broader social concerns
  • economic growth and environmental sustainability.

Our study offering

Political Economy focuses on the links between the economy, society and political interests. It deals with important challenges such as economic instability and uneven development, employment and inequitable income distribution, the globalisation of economic activity, and environmental sustainability. Enhance your understanding of the modern economy by exploring the dynamics of corporate globalisation, the concentration of economic activity, wealth and opportunities, and the trade-offs between health, education and social services.


*Available to all students studying the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Visual Arts, as well as all combined Bachelor of Advanced Studies degrees.  



Our research

We provide critical analysis of contemporary problems and policies and construct alternatives to prevailing orthodoxies. 

Our department conducts internationally recognised political economic analysis and research across the broad areas of globalisation, development, the environment, energy, labour, gender, race, history of economic thought, neoliberalism, public policy, human rights, markets and finance.

Our academics work in a variety of disciplinary areas, researching post-Keynesian, Marxian, feminist and institutionalist economics, economic history and the history of economic thought, economic sociology and geography, international political economy, development and labour studies.

Our people

  • Dr Richard Kuhn


For a full listing of our upcoming events, please visit the What's On Calendar.

11th Annual E L Wheelwright Memorial Lecture

When: Thursday 30 August 2018, 6pm – 7.30pm 

Where: Eastern Avenue Auditorium, the University of Sydney 

Speaker: Aldredo Saad-Filho (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) 

Global neoliberalism is in crisis: the deepest economic collapse since the Great Depression has been followed by a ‘Great Stagnation’ with no end in sight. At the same time, democracies around the world are succumbing to a wave of authoritarianism without precedent in the postwar era. This lecture reviews the causes, severity and implications of the twin crises of neoliberalism, examines the prospects for the end of neoliberalism, and suggests strategies to support democracy and progressive economic policies.

Register here

We host a regular seminar series. The topics of our upcoming seminars are being finalised, though they will be held on: 

  • Thursday 6 September, 4-5.30pm - Merewether Seminar Room 498, H04
  • Wednesday 31 October, 4-5.30pm - Social Sciences Building Room 341

More information will be available soon. 

Department Chair

Dr Elizabeth Hill

School of Social and Political Sciences

  • +61 2 9351 2650 

Alexi Polden

Headshot of Alexi Polden
Political Economy student
"Studying political economy taught me a great deal about the real effect economics has on people. I was not only pushed to question my own assumptions but also to question the assumptions made by academics and by those who espouse economic theories."
Download our postgraduate course guide (pdf, 2MB)

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