International Political Economy


This course will examine alternative theoretical perspectives of international political economy (IPE) in relation to issues of global economic development. We will begin with an analysis and critique of economic globalization. The class will then explore in detail the main three theoretical approaches to IPE: realist/conservative, liberal, and historical/structuralist. We will relate these IPE theories to issues of worker’s rights, economic equality, gender, race, global public goods and sustainable development.

The course is structured to look at the impact of world economic activity on development. Specific issues covered include trade, foreign aid, transnational corporate investment, and the geopolitics of energy. We will examine how these concerns influence development choices for the less-developed countries. Finally we will survey some innovative policy proposals from the United Nations and elsewhere to bring about sustainable development, create economic equality, and protect global public goods.

Noneconomists should not be scared off by the course’s title. This is not an economics course; rather, it involves historical and institutional (structural) analysis. Economics students are, of course, also welcome.