International Political Economy

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Second year module

Lecturer: Dr Huw Macartney

A key purpose of university education and the study of political economy is to equip you to question and challenge what is often taken-for-granted. This purpose is often lost when courses are structured so as to simply pass on information from lecturer to student. Instead, this course is structured around a series of 'big questions' about the world. In the lectures we will draw on a range of theoretical approaches and real life examples to help answer these questions. Our central aim however, is not to give you the right answer – as if there were such a thing – but to help you engage with and reflect upon the structures of power in the global political economy. In doing this, the course draws upon some of the most recent debates and shifts within the field of international political economy – as well as drawing on more traditional strands of classical political economy.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the major theoretical perspectives on international political economy.
  • Develop critical skills in analysing debates surrounding the emergence of an international economy.
  • Gain an understanding of key IPE issues such as trade, development, financial crisis, environment issues
  • Have 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: One 2 hour examination (50%)

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.