Teaching

For a full list of courses see my CV


I am currently teaching the following course at UMass Amherst:


The Political Economy of Public Health

This is a course in the political economy of public health, an emergent research stream that seeks to understand the distal political and economic causes of population health in advanced capitalist countries, primarily the United States. It builds on and extends the social determinants of health framework, making it more dynamic and moving further “upstream” to the political and economic determinants of the social determinants of health. In other words, this approach examines macro-level societal forces that contribute to the (re)production of social patterns in human health. This represents a return to the origins of public health, captured by Rudolph Virchow’s famous dictum: “Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing more than medicine on a grand scale.” In addition to studying public health research, students will be taught various topics in heterodox economics and comparative political economy that are necessary to understand the patterning of health outcomes at a societal level. There are no prerequisites for this class, and it does not require any knowledge of game theory, mathematical models or econometrics. 

Course outline and readings, as well as some lecture notes/slides, are available here.


I was previously teaching the following courses at Cambridge:


The Political Economy of Capitalism

The paper is designed to teach students the fundamentals of the sociological or “continental” tradition of the Political Economy of Capitalism. Such a broad theme must obviously be selective, but we will cover many crucial works and topics. The student should come away with a good understanding of how the political and economic processes of modern capitalism work, with special focus on the first (the UK) and the biggest (the US) systems. We will also look at whether contemporary capitalism is implicated in the production of global poverty.  

This version of political economy is distinct from the Anglo-American tradition that emphasizes individual rationality and formal mathematical models. Instead, it focuses on power in all its forms, and looks at how political and economic forces mutually interact to socially construct the market and the state.  It pays special attention to social groups that are anterior to, and participate in, both economic and political struggles (like classes and status groups).  Although “continental” political economy is taught and practiced in most of the social science disciplines, it has never been restricted to the academy, and various “radicals” (marxian, anarchist, or other) have always contributed to debates as well.

Course outline and readings are available here


Foundations of Political & Economic Sociology

This MPhil pathway is designed to give students a basic understanding of major themes and debates in political and economic sociology.  There is one core component of the MPhil that all students are expected to take: Foundations of Economic and Political Sociology. This is a 12 week sequence of 3-hour seminars taught by Dr. Manali Desai, Dr. Hazem Kandil, Prof. Lawrence King, and Dr. Jeff Miley.

Other substantive modules may also have an economic and/or political sociology component, and these would complement the core modules well. In addition, all students are expected to attend the module on comparative historical research methods taught by Dr. Miley as well as one other methods module to be decided in consultation with their supervisor.

Students have the option of doing one of their coursework essays on a topic taught on any sociology MPhil module (for instance, media, culture, globalisation or reproduction); all of the rest of the coursework essays and the dissertation (based on original research) must relate to the political and economic sociology options.

Topics to be covered include: the Marxist critique of capitalism; Weber’s theory of legitimacy; the transition from feudalism to capitalism; the emergence of the modern state; theories of the capitalist state; class structure and class formation under capitalism; the rise of democracy and dictatorship; theories of revolution; the rise of the welfare state; social movement theory; theories of imperialism; theories of development and underdevelopment; gender and ethnicity in post-colonial states; nationalisms; war and militarism, and state violence and genocide.


Course outline and readings are available here