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Global Political Economy: Structures and Policies


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenors and tutors: Dr Ali Güven, Dr David Styan
  • Assessment: a 2500-word essay (40%), two 1000-word take-home test essays (50%) and a 500-word seminar log (10%)

Module description

In this module we explore the structures and dynamics of contemporary global political economy and the related policy context. Building on concepts and theories associated with the field of international political economy (IPE), we will cover a wide range of current issues including transnational production and global value chains (GVCs) and the complex architecture of global trade and finance.

Particular emphasis is placed on institutional actors such as the IMF, World Bank and WTO as well as regulatory dynamics, regional integration, global economic crises and manifold challenges of effective global economic governance.

Indicative syllabus

  • Global value chains and IPE
  • Primary commodities: the coffee industry
  • Free trade and protectionism in practice: GATT
  • The IMF and World Bank
  • The World Trade Organization and protectionism
  • Multinational companies and GVCs
  • Regionalism vs multilateralism
  • Financial regulation and liberalisation
  • Crises and alternatives to growth
  • Global economic governance

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have:

  • a good understanding of key structures and issues in contemporary global political economy
  • a solid grasp of the dynamic policy challenges in this broad field
  • the ability to critically engage with ongoing debates in the field of IPE on contemporary issues such as trade policy, international financial institutions, and regional trade agreements
  • a broad understanding of key contemporary global trends as seen from pertinent scholarly perspectives
  • skills of critical thinking, enquiry, synthesis, analysis and evaluation that can be employed on other modules studied at this level.