Cours 2022-2023

Institutional Foundations of Markets [ECONM907]

  • 5 crédits
  • 30h
  • 2e quadrimestre
Langue d'enseignement: Anglais / English
Enseignant: Cassan Guilhem

Acquis d'apprentissage

The goal of this course is to discuss the choice of institutions made by nations.

We will use material from various social sciences (history, sociology, anthropoly and economics) to broaden the perspective of students that may have approached that question only with economist tools.


The course will take a historical approach.

Starting with Ancient Greece, we will discuss the birth of democracy in Athens in comparison to the development of oligarchy in other city states of the Greek Peninsula such as Sparta. We will introduce the role of conflict across classes in the society, via the Aristotelian view of the role of military classes in the choice of political institutions.

We will then broaden our perspective by introducing conflict across classes of income, by turning to the classic political economy thinkers of the XIXth century such as Ricardo and Marx, and discuss why the revolution predicted by Marx did not take place.

This will allow us to think more largely of the boundaries of institutions: to which entity should institutions be applied to ? What make people think they belong to a common political space ?

In turn, this will raise the question of the sense of belonging, the sense of identity. We will study the construction of identity, taking the case of France in the XIXth century, and discuss the division of countries such as India.

Mode d'évaluation

The evaluation is a written exam.

It is planned to take place "physically", but may be done remotely depending on the sanitary conditions.

Sources, références et supports éventuels

  • Aoki, M. 2002, Toward a comparative Institutional Analysis, MIT Press
  • Greif, A. , forthocoming, Geneo and the Maghribi Traders : Historical and Comparative Institutional Analysis, Cambridge University Press
  • North, D., 1990, Institutions Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge University Press
  • Platteau, J.-Ph., 2000, Institutions, Social Norms, and Economic Development, Harwood Academic Publishers

Langue d'enseignement

Anglais / English

Lieu de l'activité


Faculté organisatrice

Faculté des sciences économiques, sociales et de gestion
Rue de Bruxelles, 61
5000 NAMUR


Etudes de 2ème cycle