Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Spring 2016



Course Number

DIPL 6105 NA

Course Description

This is a graduate level seminar in international political economy. While political economy examines the role of domestic institutions and interests in the production, distribution and consumption of goods, labour and capital in the economy, this course will examine the flow of goods and factors across national borders and the role of international governance institutions. Moreover, we will consider not just the interest and welfare of one nation, but rather the interests and welfare of foreign entities as well and the global economy as a whole. While the focus of the class will be on the post-World War II international trading and monetary systems, we will examine historical and institutional perspectives in development and migration, and how international institutions can mitigate market failures in global public goods markets such as international health and the environment. Through the class, we will also highlight the increasingly important idea of endogenous institutions, i.e., the fact that institutions themselves are formed by agents with economic and political interests of their own.

I will assume that you are familiar with basic trade and capital flow models as our assessment of how agents in the international economy behave will draw on these models. The failure to understand these models lead to weak critiques of economic policies and incorrect policy prescriptions. On the other hand, economic policies that disregard political motivations of nations and actors are also bound to be inadequate. Thus international political economy takes the stand that both politics and economics of international economic transactions must be studied together to understand the global world order and the interactions we see therein.

Textbook readings will be supplemented with relevant academic or magazine articles through the semester. The course is both lecture-based (first hour) and discussion-driven (second hour), giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your grasp of concepts. Coursework includes exams to test your knowledge, and a term paper where you will delve deeply into a current issue relevant to the course and synthetically apply the concepts learnt in class.