Course Syllabus

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Semester & Location:

Spring 2024- DIS Stockholm

Type & Credits:

Core Course - 3 credits

Study Tours:

Gothenburg, Sweden & Helsinki, Finland

Major Disciplines:

Economics, Finance, and Political Science


One course in intermediate or advanced microeconomics at university level.

Faculty Members:

Fairouz Hussien and Carin Sjölin (current students please use Canvas Inbox)

Academic support: 

Time & Place:

Mondays and Thursdays 14.50-16.10, Room: 1D-508

Course Description

Our global economic system generates astounding wealth and unprecedented individual freedom. It also creates many problems, including inequality, financial instability, and massive environmental destruction. Some of these problems grow to become crises with international impact.

How nations respond to crises is greatly influenced by a cocktail of factors, including the economic systems in place and how they process and allocate resources, what are the ruling government forms, what kind of policies and regulations are passed (and to whose benefit), market organizing, trade agreements and alliances (with who, for what), and developmental capabilities.

To compare economic systems is to compare ways to process information and make decisions – especially when faced with challenging and uncertain circumstances. This comparison is the study of comparative economics. In comparative economics, we compare economic systems, policies and strategies, and turn towards a facet of economics that is hard to measure, hard to predict, yet vital for navigating and understanding the economy.

In this course, we will compare a selection of economies and how they respond to crises. We will take a look at a variety of policies, economic systems, resource scarcity and allocation, and how the EU has responded to some of the global crises over the past many years.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students are expected to understand:

  • The complex relations between capitalist economics and democratic politics
  • How different economic systems and forms of government result in different responses to crises.
  • Increased familiarity with policies, how they are written and used in crisis responses.
  • Market dynamicity and its interplay with policy responses.
  • Resource scarcity and allocation, and the conflicts affecting the related decision-making.
  • The EU, its foundations and basic operation, as well as its many institutions.
  • A closer look at a variety of crises, and how they were handled.
  • To further develop essential skills – in analytical thinking and in both oral and written presentation - that are vital not only in navigating academic studies, but in flourishing in the game of life.


Fairouz Hussien

PhD @ Stockholm School of Economics, M.Sc. @ Hanken School of Economics. Co-founder of the SSE Methods Lab. Research focus on economic regulation, essential industries, and governance power. Expertise from the airline industry and fossil fuel systems. Coffee enthusiast and a reckless book collector.

Carin Sjölin

Reading list

All readings are available for download in the modules.

    1. Steiner‐Khamsi, G. (2010). The Politics and Economics of Comparison. Comparative Education Review, 54(3), 323–342. doi:10.1086/653047 
    2. Stiglitz, J.E. (2019). Why Government? In People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent. W.W. Norton & Company, New York.
    3. Goodman, J., & Loveman, G. (1991). "Does Privatization Serve the Public Interest?" Harvard Business Review, Nov-Dec.
    4. Friedman, B. (2007). "Capitalism, Economic Growth, and Democracy." Daedalus, 136(3).
    5. Jaworski, B., Kohli, A.K., & Sahay, A. (2000). Market-driven versus driving markets. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28, 45–54.
    6. Child, John & Faulkner, David & Tallman, Stephen & Hsieh, Linda. (2019). Emerging economies. 10.1093/oso/9780198814634.003.0022.
    7.  Schneider, G., & Troeger, V. E. (2006). War and the World Economy. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 50(5), 623–645.
    8. North, D.C. (1991). "Institutions." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 5(1), 97-112. DOI: 10.1257/jep.5.1.97.
    9. Fligstein, N. (1996). Markets as Politics: A Political-Cultural Approach to Market Institutions. American Sociological Review, 61, 656-673. DOI: 10.2307/2096398.
    10. Cumes, J.W.C. (1974). Inflation! A Study in Stability. Chapter 1. Pergamon. ISBN: 9780080181677.
    11. Goddard, J., Molyneux, P., & Wilson, J.O.S. (2009). "The financial crisis in Europe: evolution, policy responses and lessons for the future." Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, 17(4), 362-380.
    12. Heryan, T. & Tzeremes, G. (2017) The bank lending channel of monetary policy in EU countries during the global financial crisis.
    13. Ungku, F. (2022) Nobel Prize 2022: What is the role of banks in financial crises?
    14. Blommstein, H.J. (2006). Why is Ethics Not Part of Modern Economics and Finance? A Historical Perspective. DOI: 10.3917/fbc.024.0054.
    15. Wolf, M. (2022). The market can deliver the green transition – just not fast enough. Financial Times. Retrieved from:
    16. Arrese, Á. (2022). Cultural Dimensions of Fake News Exposure: A Cross-National Analysis among European Union Countries. Mass Communication and Society. DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2022.2123278.
    17. Thomson, S. et al. (2015) Making sense of health system responses to economic crisis in Economic Crisis, Health Systems, and Health in Europe. European Observatory of Health Systems, WHO.
    18. Elomäki, A. (2023). ‘It’s a total no-no’: The strategic silence about gender in the European Parliament’s economic governance policies. International Political Science Review, 44(3), 403–417.
    19. Acemoglu, D., & Robinson, J.A. (2013). ‘Economics versus politics: Pitfalls of policy advice’. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27(2), 173–192.
    20. Hagens, N.J. (2020). Economics for the future – Beyond the superorganism. Ecological Economics, 169. DOI:

Field Studies

Field Study 1: Stockholm City Bingo

Starting point: 1D-509

A task-filled walking tour that takes you to a few key locations in Stockholm.

The aim of this exercise is to have you produce output for which you have harnessed what you already know and can reason, and the information you’re capable of finding with the tools available to you.

The secondary aim is to familiarize you with the general landscape of Stockholm.

We return afterwards to the classroom, where we will enjoy some fika and discuss the tour.

Field Study 2: Catastrophy Medicine Workshop

Swedish responses during a sudden crisis.

More info coming soon.


Field Study 3 / Concluding activity: ?


Approach to Teaching

Learning is not a top-down process, but a social exchange of information to construct knowledge

In this course, learning will be facilitated through the following:

  • Lectures: Lecturing will be used to provide students with essential knowledge on the subjects discussed in this course.
  • Group negotiations: students will be introduced to contexts and cases, with the expectation that they will negotiate with one another to produce the best solutions to the presented problems.
  • Self-initiated learning: students will be expected to seek knowledge in groups, and assess their validity critically.
  • Readings: the readings for this course are here to support your learning by providing more depth and perspective to comparative economics, and all that it entails. It is expected that the students do the readings when so assigned.

Expectations of the Students

Students are expected to actively participate in class, engage with the readings and the ongoing discussions. Since some work will be done using laptops, students are expected to bring theirs with them to class.

1 missed attendance = 1 written task to be submitted. In other words: most of the course activity will be taking place within teaching hours. Absence from a session, however, means that the student must submit a make-up assignment related to the topic of discussion.Grading

Assignments (Please visit the "assignments" page for more detailed instructions!)


Participation: this component reflects the level of engagement and activity in the course. It is assessed through three elements:

  • Mind-maps
  • Field Study Bingo
  • Attendance


Study Tour Tasks: to fully engage with the study tours and their intended learning objectives, students are expected to complete three tasks:

  • Q&A
  • 2 reflections


Thinkpieces: this component aims to provide students with the opportunity to further reflect on a few topics of deeper interest among the course content. The entirety of the component consists of:

  • 4 submittable thinkpieces.


Exams: this course has a midterm exam and a final exam. Both aim to test the students' understanding of the course content. 25%

Academic Regulations  

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on: 


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -

Course Summary:

Date Details Due