The Harris School of Public Policy and the Department of Political Science have launched a new doctorate. program in political economy, which is currently accepting applications for its first cohort, which will register in the fall of 2022.
The program, while being facilitated by 22 faculty members from the Harris School and the Department of Political Science, will be separate from the doctorate. programs in either school. The previous track in Political Economy from the Harris Ph.D. in Public Policy Studies will be discontinued.
The Ph.D. program in political economy is designed to be completed in five or six years. Requirements include comprehensive exams in formal theory, econometrics, and a subfield of US politics; a 2nd year research thesis; and a final research dissertation.
Program director Dr Scott Gehlbach, currently a professor at the Harris School and the Department of Political Science, described political economy as something understood from the perspective of both political science and economics. “We define political economy in terms of methods. It is the use of game theory and empirical methods of causal inference to answer important questions in politics.
Gehlbach also proposed another shortened definition of political economy: “the use of economic methods to study politics”, referring more to “the interaction of politics and economics”.
Gehlbach emphasized the scope and size of the program, as well as its uniqueness: “You look at at least any other institution in North America, probably any other institution anywhere, you won’t find 22 people with research interests in political economy. It’s an incredible concentration of people in Chicago.
However, some other universities offer similar programs. Gehlbach mentioned that Princeton University and Stanford School of Business offer doctorates in political economy, but he remained convinced that the program would provide its graduates with notable opportunities. “We train students to become professors in the best research establishments. We hope to place students in the best research institutions, ”he said. In a Twitter feed In announcing the program, Gehlbach also said that students could expect “strong financial support” and “the stipends would be very competitive”.