International Political Economy

This course provides an introduction to international political economy – the interface between international economics and international politics. This study is based on the assumption that in order to understand patterns of interaction and change at the global level, we need to look at both international politics and economics in an integrated manner. Students will look at economic issues of trade, finance, production and development, but not from the perspective of economic theory. Instead, students will engage with the International Relations concepts, ideas and literatures on the economic relations among states, and between states and non-state actors (such as firms, societal groups and international organisations). The focus is therefore on the political problems that arise as a consequence of the increasing density of international economic relations. Knowledge of economics is an advantage but not a requirement.

The aim of this course is to promote understanding of: 

  • the interaction between politics and economics in international relations 
  • the sources of change in international political economy 
  • the challenges faced by states in an era of global economic integration and fragmentation.

At the end of this course and having completed the essential reading and activities students should be able to: 

  • demonstrate an understanding of the processes of global integration and fragmentation in international politics and economics 
  • show what the sources are of continuity and change in international political economy
  • demonstrate an appreciation of the history of thought in international political economy
  • distinguish between, and critically evaluate, different theoretical approaches to international political economy 
  • explain the different roles of states, international organisations and non-state actors in the politics of international economic relations show an understanding of the economic challenges facing states in their foreign policy. 
  • Ravenhill, John (ed.) Global political economy. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) fifth edition [ISBN 978-0198737469]

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