Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Fall 2023



Course Number


Course Description

How does the Russia-Ukraine war impact countries who are trade dependent on them? Who benefited from the US-China trade war? Will Brexit bring prosperity to the UK? What role does trade and investment play in ending the Covid-19 pandemic? These issues in international economics directly impact international relations through (perceived) impact on jobs, wages, the environment and subsequent negotiations on labour, health, and environmental standards for trade. Producing effective policy requires understanding the underlying processes driving social and economic decisions, such as the decision for a person to migrate or for a firm to offshore, and the impact of such decisions. Economists use frameworks that they test against real world data to understand the drivers of these decisions which then helps predict the impact of trade related policies. Since policies always have winners and losers, both within a country and across countries, we will also use a political economy lens to understand how trade policies can create conflict in international relations and how international institutions such as the World Trade Organization try to foster cooperation in the absence of a global enforcement mechanism. Throughout the course, we will use recent international issues to learn some key economic principles and apply them to ongoing policy debates such as those mentioned above.