Undergraduate Module

The Global Political Economy

The global economy impacts all of our lives. The purpose of this module is to explore the political dynamics that underpin the organisation of economic relations on an international scale. It focuses on many of the most important issues within the global economy, ranging from the contested rise of twentieth century globalisation to the recent Eurozone sovereign debt crisis. This module works with a distinction between International Political Economy (IPE) as an academic sub-discipline and body of scholarly knowledge, and the global economy as the sum total of all economic transactions and dynamics that are “out there”. We will use IPE in order to make sense of how the global economy hangs together and works, why it hangs together in particular ways, and whether another way is possible. As a result, you will come away with detailed knowledge of the global economy, the tools to critically analyse it, and the way in to a number of puzzles that lie at the heart of political economy.

Topics covered on this module include:

  1. Introduction / Theory - The Theoretical Foundations of Political Economy
  2. Great transformations - A brief history of the post-war global economy
  3. Development - Have Western states kicked away the ladder for the developing world?
  4. Gender - How is the global economy gendered?
  5. Trade - Should trade be fair or free?
  6. Production - How is our cheap stuff made?
  7. Money - What do we want from the international monetary system?
  8. Globalisation - Is the welfare state viable in an era of capital mobility?
  9. Finance - How does offshore finance work?
  10. Environment - Is economic growth environmentally sustainable?
  11. Crises - What caused the 2008 financial crisis?
  12. Austerity - Is austerity necessary?

Second Year | Spring Semester
Module Code:


  • 11 one-hour lectures
  • 11 one-hour seminars


  • 1 essay (50%)
  • 1 examination (50%)

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