Political Science


Political Science has close links with many other social sciences.

First, its traditional objects of study – the laws and the government, the state, the allocation of power in different decision-making settings – are shared with other disciplines, such as sociology, law or economics.

Second, political science is traditionally methodologically diverse, and uses methods from many other social sciences and humanities, including philosophy, history, law, and more recently economics (with a growing mobilization of traditional economic methods, mainly individualism and game theory, in the normative and positive analysis of political institutions and actors).

The Political Science program at IAST aims at promoting interdisciplinary research in Political Science, while contributing to the debate about the potential gains from increasing methodological integration between the different social sciences.

These objectives are achieved through short and long term visitor programs, the organization of workshops and conferences, as well as graduate courses.

In particular, the program aims at developing strong interactions between economists at TSE and political scientists. Economic factors strongly shape political conflicts and divides, whereas political institutions and actors constrain and delimit the field of feasible economic policies. The need for an interdisciplinary approach has led to the development of a growing research field - Political economy, which in its contemporary meaning refers to interdisciplinary studies explaining how political institutions and the economic system influence each other. Potential topics of interdisciplinary research in this field include:

  • The influence of elections on the choice of economic, fiscal and monetary policies,
  • Redistributive conflicts in fiscal policy,
  • The evaluation of various political institutions regarding their expected economic performance,
  • The influence of institutions on the incentives faced by politicians, legislators and interest groups, …