Introduction to International Political Economy

This is an introductory course to the subject area of international political economy. It is not a course on economics and students are not expected to have any background in the study of economics although some economic concepts will be employed and discussed. The focus of this unit is on the politics of (international) economic activity and phenomena. The unit aims to introduce students to the subject area of international political economy and to develop their research and analytical skills in the study thereof. It is intended for students who have had no previous background in the subject. The unit will include a review of the principal theoretical approaches to the study of international political economy as well as examine the major issue areas in the post-war global economy: trade, international finance, foreign direct investment, international debt, globalization and regionalization. By the end of the unit, students should have an understanding of the main issues dominating the international/global political economy as well as the ability to engage critically with them.

Core readings for the course

Robert O’Brien & Marc Williams, Global Political Economy. Fourth edition (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013).

John Ravenhill, Editor, Global Political Economy. Fourth edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Recommended for those with no background in economics: Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide. (New York: Penguin Books, 2014).

Additional readings and lecture slides

Week 1 – Introduction: What is IPE?

Week 2 – Theoretical Approaches & Methods

Week 3 – History up to the End of Bretton Woods

Week 4 – The Debt Crisis

Week 5 – The Asian Financial Crisis

Week 6 – The Battle in Seattle

Week 7 – Argentina’s Economic Crisis

Week 8 – The Global Financial Crisis

Week 9 – The Eurozone Crisis

Week 10 – The Climate Crisis