Political Economy: A Comparative Approach

Political Economy: A Comparative Approach

Political Economy: A Comparative Approach

Political Economy: A Comparative Approach


In this revised edition of the widely used and comprehensive overview of political/economic thought, political theory, sociology, and philosophy are integrated with economic analysis. Clark offers an introduction to the method and history of political economy, along with comparative studies of classical liberalism, radicalism, conservatism, and modern liberalism. Various issues such as the role of government, inflation and unemployment, poverty and inequality, and education, culture, and gender, are given a comparative analysis from the perspectives of the four major economic ideologies, and contemporary debates are traced back to their origins in the European industrialization process.


In all the political systems of the world, much of politics is economics, and most of economics is politics. Charles Lindblom

Economics does not usefully exist apart from politics. John Kenneth Galbraith

There is no such thing as a purely economic issue. Milton Friedman


As a prelude to the study of political economy, a firm grasp of the words politics and economics is essential. Unfortunately, these widely used terms lack clear definition. As depicted below, politics and economics can be distinguished with reference to three characteristics: the primary goal being pursued, the institutional arena within which the goal is pursued, and the primary actor who chooses the goal.

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