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Introduction to International Political Economy


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Assessment: a 300-word log/learning journal (10%), 800-word essay (40%) and 1500-word take-home examination (50%)

Module description

The aim of this course is to equip you with knowledge of international political and economic processes through an understanding of the conceptual and theoretical approaches applied to those processes and institutions.

This course is designed to provide a foundation in international political economy (IPE). As such, it introduces you to literature, concepts and debates in the expanding field of IPE. It will examine the historical context within which the global political economy has emerged; it will evaluate leading theoretical approaches to IPE and it will analyse select current developments, such as globalisation, financial liberalisation, multinational corporations, regionalisation and migration.

The operation of international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation will also be examined.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a working knowledge of competing approaches to IPE
  • identify the main structural features of the politics of the international economy and how they are changing
  • assess the significance - for states, companies and other actors in the international economy - of issues such as increased interdependence, financial liberalisation, multinational corporations, regionalisation, and international organisations.