Document Type

Graduate Syllabus


Fall 2020



Course Number


Course Description

‘IPE at its most fundamental, in short, is about the complex interrelationship of economic and political activity at the level of international affairs’ (Cohen, 2008, p. 16). Globalization, or economic, political and cultural integration between countries, was growing at a rapid pace until the 20072009 global financial crisis. The crisis has raised questions about the capacity of a market economy to deliver prosperity


to do in an equitable way. Since then, and more so following Brexit and the recent election cycles in Western democracies, there has been a call for more insular policies. What explains this reversal? What forces drive globalization, and what forces slow it down? Who is for globalization, and who is against it?

DIPL 6105 is a graduate course in international political economy (IPE) addressing these questions, with a focus on the challenges that international markets pose for individual governments. The course will focus on the push and pull between the demands of market and the demands of citizens from the 19 th century to the present.

Deeper international economic integration has led to more frequent economic exchanges across the globe on a daily basis, involving nation-states, multinational entities, individuals and non-governmental organisations. IPE scholars study the interplay of political and economic interests between various state and non-state actors pertaining to these cross-border flows. The economic, political and social relations between individuals, states and firms have evolved in response to changes in tastes, technology, ideology and political power. The distribution of political power itself changes in response to the distribution of economic power. In this course, we will explore how domestic interests drive policy preferences at the state level, and how similarities or differences in interests in various issues across countries lead to cooperation or conflict in global governance and international relations. We will further see how the lack of a global government with enforceable laws has shaped institutions of global governance such as the WTO, and the tension between these supranational rule- or norm-setting mechanisms and national sovereignty.

The course is divided into two parts. In the first part, we will map the various theoretical frameworks that inform IPE, starting with economic liberalism, followed by a critique of this paradigm from the perspectives of realism/mercantilism, Marxism and Keynesianism. We will then apply these theories to key IPE issues in areas that include (1) international trade, (2) international finance, (3) regional economic integration, and (4) development.

The course will expose you to both methodologies and their applications to current issues at the same time. Thus we will use both academic articles and the case method, bridging the gap between theory and practice.