What is the proper relationship between politics and economics? Many have asked this question throughout the history of Western Civilization, and it forms the basis of a field of study known as political economy.
Unfortunately, for the past hundred years, the disciplines of politics and economics have become steadily more separate. One result of this separation is the tendency to lose sight of the important connections between forms of government and economic systems and the consequences that those connections have for the people that live in them.
Ashland University’s Department of History and Political Science has brought the field of study back to higher education with the introduction of the Political Economy major. Students in the program read and discuss the writings of some of the most thoughtful authors on the subject from Xenophon, to Adam Smith, to Karl Marx. They seek answers to questions like: What economic policy should leaders adopt? How do laws affect entrepreneurs trying to change the face of technology? Is economic growth opposed to morality? Why are some nations rich and others poor? What is the relationship between economics and a free society?
To address these questions and many more, they study primary texts in the history of politics and economics using the Socratic method. They read and discuss the actual words of the greatest thinkers on the subject rather than merely reading books about them. Through this course of study, our program aims to educate future leaders in the fields of economics, politics, and business who are equipped with knowledge of the relationship between politics and economics.