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Contemporary Issues in International Political Economy - POL00008M

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  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Jappe Eckhardt
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

The module introduces students to some of the key contemporary issues in the field of International Political Economy (IPE). The module consists of two closely related sections. Through Part One, a series of approaches to the study of IPE are reviewed. These approaches range from traditional state-centred models that focus on competition over scarce material resources, to works that aim to uncover the roots of persistent global poverty and inequality, to literatures that encourage critical reflection on the mechanisms through which ideas and identities intersect with patterns of production and distribution. Through Part Two, these frameworks are applied to a series of contemporary trends and dynamics. Issues explored typically include patterns of global trade and finance, changing forms of private power, and (in-)stability in US leadership on global economic issues.

Module learning outcomes

Overall the module aims to extend students’ capacity to both engage with contemporary scholarship, and to apply insights gained to ‘real world’ issues. Assessment is structured to allow for an in depth exploration by students of areas of interest they develop through the module.

Module content

  1. Introduction to IPE

  2. Traditional Approaches: Realism and Liberalism

  3. Taking Social Forces Seriously: Polanyi and (Neo-)Marxist IPE

  4. Exploring Identities and Interests: Constructivism and Feminism

  5. The IPE of Finance

  6. The IPE of Trade and Production

  7. The IPE of Hegemonic Transition

  8. The IPE of State Transformation

  9. The IPE of the Globalisation Backlash

  10. Conclusion + Assessment Prep

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Robert O’Brien and M. Williams. Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

Andrew Walter and Guatam Sen. Analyzing the Global Political Economy. Princeton University Press, 2008.

Ronen Palan (ed), Global Political Economy, Routledge, 2000.

John Ravenhill. Global Political Economy. Oxford University Press, 2007.

William Robinson. A Theory of Global Capitalism. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.