International Political Economy

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr Huw Macartney

This module provides an introduction to the study of international political economy. We will examine the emergence and evolution of the international economy, major structural features of the contemporary international economy, the function and role of international economic organizations, and issues of finance, trade, and development.

The course draws upon a range of theoretical perspectives to understand the contemporary international economic order and to explore the drivers of international economic change.

Issues and problems covered across the two modules include: the establishment and demise of the Bretton Woods system; the origins and the legacy of the debt crisis; the contest of ideas over economic reform; the causes and the consequences of economic globalization; and how the globalized international political economy should be governed.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical perspectives on international political economy.
  • Have developed critical skills in analyzing debates surrounding the emergence of an international economy.
  • Have gained a basic understanding of trade and development issues.
  • Have obtained a critical awareness of how power operates in international political economy and in development processes.


  • Term One: 1 essay x 2,000 word assessed work (50%)
  • Term Three: 2 hour examination (50%)