This course aims to provide participants with the theoretical knowledge and critical tools for understanding the rationale for, and the impact of, public financial management policies on the economy in the context of austerity.
Since the 2008-9 financial crises, many countries of the world sought to adapt and deliver austerity measures in an effort to preserve the sustainability of public finances – with widely varying degrees of success. Followed by equally diverse fiscal policies that aimed to reinvigorate economic growth, the experience of the last decade offers powerful lessons as to the effectiveness of different approaches. Issues that will be discussed include the design of effective and sustainable public financial management systems, management of the ‘fiscal space’ of governments, development of public financial management capacity, the interplay with politics, and the role that international organisations like the IMF have in public financial management policies.
The course will draw examples and case studies from various countries and different thematic areas including fiscal planning, budgeting and expenditure reviews, debt management, transparency and accountability.
On successful completion of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate the ability to:
- Understand how public financial management relates to economic growth
- Explain how austerity policies arise and what are their effects on economic growth
- Explain how public financial management policies, institutions and practices can affect economic growth
- Explain how the management of public finances differ in developed and developing countries
This course is worth 15 credits in the UK system. 15 credits are equivalent to 4 credits in the US system and 7.5 ECTS in the European system.
If you intend to transfer credit to your home institution, please check the requirements with them before you apply. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to transfer credit rests with your home institution.
Week 1: Austerity: rationales and effects
- Macroeconomics and public finance
- Public debts and deficits
- Austerity, taxation and public spending
- The effects of austerity policies
Week 2: Growth: what public financial management can do
- Fiscal policy, redistribution and economic growth
- Taxation and economic growth
- Accountability, transparency and corruption
- Growth in developed and developing countries
Week 3: Writing week before the submission of the final assignment.
Teaching & Learning
Teaching will consist of a mix of lectures, guest lectures, tutorials and activities such as field visits. In tutorials, students will be required to do presentations on assigned topics that relate to public financial management issues.
The students will learn the implications of austerity policies on the economy and society. They will also learn the role and impact of measures that are intended to promote economic growth. Students will develop the capacity to critically argue about the role and impact of public financial management policies and to devise approaches to pursue economic growth while preserving the sustainability of public finances.
Fees and Funding
A one-off, non-refundable application fee of £40 will be charged to cover administration costs. Please visit the SOAS online store to make your application fee payment.
- 10% discount if you apply by 31 March 2019
- 20% discount for our partner institutions
Accommodation is available to Summer School students at the SOAS halls of residence, Dinwiddy House.
In order to join our Summer School, you will need to meet the following entry requirements:
- A university student or a graduate at the time of attending the summer school, and 18+ years of age.
- Professional experience can be acknowledged as equivalent to a university qualification.
- A minimum English language requirement if English is not your first language:
- IELTS, 6.5 overall or higher, with at least 6 in all subscores.
- TOEFL Paper-based test we require a minimum of 583 with a minimum of 53 in all skills and for TOEFL Internet Based Test we require a minimum of 93 with a minimum of 20 in all skills.
- Pearson Test of English a score of 59-64.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Grade B.
- If you have studied in an English speaking institution, or have courses taught at your university in English (excluding English language courses), you may meet our requirements without having to supply a certificate. Evidence of this will either need to be included on a transcript or letter from your university.
- Applicants with an alternative qualification should contact us for advice.
- Applicants whose English language level do not meet out requirements may be interested in our subject-based courses with English language support.
Enrolment of Summer School applicants who don’t meet the entry requirements is at the discretion of SOAS – please get in touch to speak to us in detail about your application.
Once you have paid the £40 application fee and submitted the online application form, you will be informed as to whether you have a place on the summer school within 5 working days. Please do not pay your tuition fee prior to having received your offer letter.
31 May 2019