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International Political Economy (Module)

Module description

This module will provide students with an introduction to International Political Economy (IPE). Students will be introduced to the main subject matter of IPE as a discipline; they will receive grounding in political economy as a distinctive intellectual approach within the social sciences; they will cover the main competing theoretical and methodological approaches to IPE; and they will also study a selection of issues that throw light on the development of the global political economy and of Europe’s place within it.

International Political Economy (IPE) is one of the most intellectually exciting and stimulating disciplines in the social sciences today. It has developed over the past few decades as it has become clear that more specialized disciplines such as Economics, Politics, and Sociology are inadequate to understand the complex shifts in power that have developed thanks to the processes normally described as globalization. IPE is a key intellectual tool in understanding where Europe – and indeed the world – are heading.

Module aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with an introduction to International Political Economy as a basis for understanding Europe’s place in the contemporary global political economy. More specifically:

  • Students will be introduced to the main subject matter of IPE as a discipline;
  • They will receive grounding in political economy as a distinctive intellectual approach within the social sciences;
  • They will cover the main competing theoretical and methodological approaches to IPE; and
  • They will also study a selection of issues that throw light on the development of the global political economy and of Europe’s place within it.

Core texts

  • J. Baylis, S. Smith, & P. Owens, ed., The Globalization of World Politics (Oxford: OUP, 2013)
  • A. Gamble, The Spectre at the Feast: Capitalist Crisis and the Politics of Recession (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2009)
  • A. Glyn, Capitalism Unleashed (Oxford: OUP, 2006)
  • J. Ravenhill, ed., Global Political Economy (5th edn.; Oxford: OUP, 2017)

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Dr Lucia Pradella (Semester 1), Professor Alex Callinicos (Semester 2)

Teaching pattern

One lecture and seminar per week

Indicative teaching schedule

1. Introduction: What is International Political Economy?

Perspectives on Political Economy

2.            Adam Smith: The Invention of the Market Economy

3.            Karl Marx: The Critique of Political Economy

4.            Maynard Keynes: The Limits of the Market

5.            Hayek and Friedman: The Market Strikes Back

6.            Karl Polanyi: Society against the Market

Understanding the International

7.            Realism: The State System as Anarchy

8.            Liberal Internationalism: The Promise of International Order

9.            Post-Colonialism: Contesting the Global System from the South

10.        Feminism: Gender, Power, and Reproduction

Issues in International Political Economy

11.          Globalization, I: What is Globalization?

12.          Globalization, II: Globalization and the State       

13.          Patterns of Production and Investment

14.          The Political Economy of Trade

15.          Financial Markets and Economic Crises

16.          Development, Poverty, and Inequality

17.          Empire and Imperialism

18.          The Political Economy of Migration

19.          The European Union in the Global Political Economy

20.          Globalization, III: Globalization Contested

21.          Revision Class

Module assessment - more information

One 3000 word assessed essay (50%); One 3 hour examination (50%)

Key information

Module code 5AAOB204

Credit level 5

Assessment coursework written examination/s

Credit value 30

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module Yes