Global Varieties of Capitalism SPS5038

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The seminar course offers a survey of the current state of research in the varieties of capitalism literature. Readings and discussion will provide theoretical approaches, emphasizing the role of actors and institutions in economic development.

Comparing primarily European, Asian, Latin- and North American economies, the course will explore various typologies as well as fundamental differences and similarities between liberal and coordinated market economies. Special emphasis will be given to questions of innovation and relative stagnation of "Rhenish Capitalism" in various branches of industry within a comparative framework.


This will be a condensed course, taught intensively over a three week period. Teaching sessions will be up to 2 hours, up to 3 times a week.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Entry to the IM Global Markets Local Creativities requires a II.I degree or equivalent




- group research paper (indivdual contribution of c. 4000 words) 50%

- Group Presentation 25%

- Class Participation (including Moodle short responses and forum posts) 25%



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Course Aims

Students will learn to apply theoretical frameworks of the varieties of capitalism approach to concrete empirical examples looking at historical differences and path-dependencies e.g. in labor relations, industry coordination, corporate strategies, or state regulation in a global perspective. They will be able to compare and critically analyze different economic systems within their respective historical contexts and to evaluate their comparative advantages

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

■ demonstrate a familiarity with the basic conceptual tenets of the varieties of capitalism theory

■ compare and critically analyze different economic systems within their respective historical contexts

■ evaluate relative strengths and challenges involved with different organizational forms of market economies

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.