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International Political Economy

Course Code: PUBLG050

Course Tutor: Dr Michael Plouffe (Department of Political Science) and Dr Outi Keranen (Department of Political Science)

Assessment: One 3,000 word essay

Credit Value: 15

About this course

This course introduces 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.

We begin with an introduction to the dominant theories of trade preferences—the “sectors” and “factors” models. These theories highlight one of the principal themes of the class (and of IPE research generally): economic policies have distributive consequences that create political conflict in the marketplace. 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. Additionally, students will be able to answer several questions:

  • How well do IPE theories explain observable patterns in the global economy?
  • What are the limits of the current IPE research?
  • Which areas require further investigation?

Please note that there are no prerequisites for this class. PUBLG050 is designed as an introductory class and no prior knowledge of political science or economics is required. Students possessing a background in economics may wish to take PUBLG110. Finally, students are strongly advised against taking both courses as there are substantive overlaps. Your choice of module PUBLG050 or PUBLG110 should be guided by your familiarity with the topic. Consult the reading lists for further information.

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School of Public Policy,
The Rubin Building,
29/31 Tavistock Square,
London, WC1H 9QU.
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4999,
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969,

Postgraduate enquiries

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 4982/4950

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Page last modified on 18 sep 13 13:14

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