This course introduces the political economy as a particular approach to the study of politics by exploring foundational theoretical concepts, explanatory traditions, and methodological approaches common in political economy. By situating the relationship between politics, economics, and society as the main focus, the course reviews two essential questions: (1) How and to what extent do societal agents act rationally, and what are the societal consequences of such behavior? (2) How and to what extent do political institutions affect behavior and thus economic performance? The course subsequently introduces the political economy, both as a discipline focusing on the links between politics and economics and applying economic paradigms for explaining political phenomena.