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Academic discipline that explores the relationship between individuals and society and between markets and the state, using methods drawn from economics, political science, and sociology. The term is derived from the Greek terms polis (city or state) and oikonomos (one who manages a household). Political economy is thus concerned with how countries are managed, taking into account both political and economic factors. The field today encompasses several areas of inquiry, including the politics of economic relations, domestic political and economic issues, the comparative study of political and economic systems, and the study of international political economy.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on political economy, visit Britannica.com.