Capitalism, Business Cycles and Financial Crises


Dr Michel Goyer

Introduction and Aims

The module will consider the competing models of capitalism within the globalising world economy and the evolution of modern (financial) capitalism in the context of the 2007-09 financial crisis and the current Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. The module is organised around two themes: the institutional/regulatory diversity of capitalist economies and the importance of distinctive but interconnected types of crises within models of capitalism. The module will investigate the presence of diversity between capitalist economies in regard to corporate governance, takeovers, and innovation. The module will also analyse the occurrence of financial crises from the perspective of both the policy choices of governments and the different institutional models that they operate within. An important insight is that financial crises take a different character across different types of capitalist economies. Policy responses aimed at reducing the amplitude of cycles and the severity of financial crises will be examined in detail in light of the 2007-09 financial crisis and the current Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.  

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Understand the nature of competing capitalisms within the globalising world economy.
  • Identify the main differences across capitalist economies and their implications for the strategy of companies.
  • Understand why global financial crises occur, with particular reference to the 2007-09 financial crisis and the role of competing models of capitalism. 
  • Understand the different consequences of this crisis for countries, with particular reference to the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.
  • Analyse policy proposals for reducing the incidence and severity of financial crises and business cycles.


Individual Assignment 5,000 words (100%)