Junior Seminar: Risk, Regulation, and the Comparative Politics of Finance

Course Description

This seminar compares the institutions used by different countries to provide stable markets and economic security for their citizens.   The course begins with historical readings on the role of finance in promoting economic growth from nineteenth-century industrialization through the three decades of stability after World War Two.   We will then use this framework to examine topics including:   industrial finance, social risk-sharing, corporate governance, and comparative responses to the financial crisis of 2008.   Readings will be drawn from Europe, Japan, and the United States.

The course will be conducted like a graduate seminar. Students must be do the reading before each session and be ready to participate actively in discussion. There are no technical prerequisites, but students must have some background in either economics or the comparative politics of advanced industrialized democracies.     Written requirements will include a number of short “think-piece” essays and one research paper with topic and preliminary outline to be submitted during the course of the semester.



The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research.

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

Subfield:   Comparative Politics


Those wishing to enroll should put themselves on the waitlist in Phase Two and send an email to Professor Ziegler with a short, one-page statement of their interest and relevant academic background.   Priority will be given to students who meet the eligibility requirements of junior and or senior status with a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 ,and who email their statements by Thursday, August 15, 2013.   Statements will be accepted on a rolling basis as space permits.


There are no technical prerequisites, but students should have taken PS 138E or a similar course in comparative politics, political economy, or economic history.