Contemporary International Political Economy

Final year module

Lecturer: Huw Macartney

Learning aims

Scholars point out that if the crux of a crisis is that change is immanent, it may well be premature to label the ‘global financial crisis’ and the Eurozone ‘crisis’ as such. This course is focused on addressing one overarching puzzle that can be stated as follows: given the severity of the ‘crisis’ we are living through why has so little changed?

In the first half of the course, we will address the theoretical aspect to this lack of change. We will take a fairly comprehensive look at the state of the International Political Economy (IPE) as a discipline to examine what it has or has not had to say as the financial crisis hit. We begin by asking big questions about what theory is, what an academic discipline is, and what role they should or should not play in shaping political and social change.

In the second half of the course we will apply some of these theoretical insights to empirical case studies (the EU and the UK). This part of the course seeks to examine the resilience of neoliberalism, an important factor in explaining the type and degree of continuity and change.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate a sound theoretical understanding of the key conceptual issues relating to globalisation. 
  • Apply these to current developments within the international economy.


  • 2 x 3500 words assessed essays (45% each) 
  • Presentation (10%)