POLS6015A/B International Political Economy
Course Code: POLS6015A/B
Course Tutor: Dr Michael Plouffe (Autumn) / Dr Harry Bauer (Department of Political Science) (Spring)
Length: One term (Autumn and Spring Term)
Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars
Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)
Credits: 0.5 course units, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS)
About this course
This course is designed to introduce students to the study of International Political Economy (IPE). The boundaries of the discipline have grown substantially over recent decades and now include a wide variety of topics—the politics of trade, financial liberalization, and international market institutions to name just a few. In this class students will be introduced to the principal perspectives on each of these issues. We will discuss and assess critically recent theories and evidence.
After an initial introduction into the main theoretical approaches to IPE, each week of the course focuses on an area in which politics intersect with the economy. This highlights one of the principal themes of the class (and of IPE research generally): economic policies have distributive consequences that create political conflict. The remainder of the class will look at how these politics play out in specific empirical domains, including the formation of international institutions, the setting of monetary policy, and the opening of domestic markets to the global economy.
By the end of the course students will have a firm understanding of IPE as a discipline, including what it can tell us about a wide variety of policy outcomes. Additionally, students will be able to evaluate critically a number of key theories and issues within IPE by answering several questions: What is the purpose of theorising in IPE? What is the connection between theory, practise, and values in IPE? What do IPE theories on ‘globalization’ contribute to our understanding of the interaction of economic and political processes on global, regional, and national scales?
Please note that this class does not require a background in economics or experience in formal modelling. Indeed, many of the readings are chosen for their accessibility. However, students will be expected to have a firm grasp of basic economic concepts, arguments and logics.