political economy

While studying political economy, you will learn the ways in which the U.S. and global economies have been organized and reorganized, how systems of economic and political power operate, and how they are changed.

You can study the history of empires in structuring the global economy; examine food systems and agriculture; and mass media’s role in social relationships. You’ll learn how social change has occurred in the past so you can be a more effective agent of change. Finally, you can explore alternative visions for economies and societies that promote justice and environmental sustainability. 

How to Choose Your Path

You’ll choose what you study to earn a Bachelor’s degree that’s meaningful to you. Some students decide their programs as they go, while others chart their course in advance.

Aim for both breadth and depth; explore fields that may be related or that may seem very distant. You'll be surprised at what you discover.

If you're new to college, look for programs where you can gain a foundation, build key skills, and broaden your knowledge (FR only, FR-SO, or FR-SR).

If you already have a foundation in this field, look for programs with intermediate or advanced material (SO-SR, JR-SR, or FR-SR). These programs may include community-based learning and in-depth research. Some of these programs have specific prerequisites; check the description for details.

Talk to an academic advisor to get help figuring out what coursework is best for you.

Planned offerings for 2019–20
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Advanced Seminar in Political Economy JR-SR
  • Spring
16
American Frontiers: Homelands and Borderlands FR
  • Spring
16
Carrying Home: Latinx Worlds, Media, and Education SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Climate Justice JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Cooperatives, Direct Democracy, and Sustainable Business Enterprises SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Cycle Makers and Cycle Breakers: Transitional Studies JR-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
Diversity and Dissent in Education and the Media FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Eating in Translation FR-SR
  • Fall
16
Flaming Eggplant Cafe: Cooperative Food Business Management SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
From the Earth: Advanced Studies SO-SR
  • Fall
16
From the Earth: The History, Stories, and Social Justice of Farming in the U.S. FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
History of Agriculture in Washington State: 1880 - 2020 SO-SR
  • Spring
4
Intermediate Macroeconomics SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Making Change: Social Entrepreneurship and the Public Good FR-SR
  • Fall
8
Political Economy and Social Movements SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
16
Social Science Approaches to Solving Environmental Problems JR-SR
  • Spring
16
Planned offerings for 2020–21
Class Standing Quarters Offered Credits
Flaming Eggplant Cafe: Cooperative Food Business Management SO-SR
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
16
International Economics and the Political Economy of Borders SO-SR
  • Fall
16
Macroeconomics, Money and Crisis FR-SO
  • Spring
16
Making Feminist Sense of Global Politics and Economics SO-SR
  • Spring
16
Reproduction: Gender, Race and Power FR-SO
  • Fall
  • Winter
12, 16