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Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

International Economics

Course Code:
15PFFC004
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

The core theme of this course is the political economy of globalisation. Theories of political economy seek to define and study systematic relationships between economic and political processes. "Globalisation" is a much disputed catch-word to describe a gradual internationalisation or universalisation of social relations in general, including economic, political, cultural, ethical, geographical and organisational phenomena. There is, as yet, little consensus as to the precise meaning and significance of globalisation. Some argue that economic globalisation is essentially the expansion of the capitalist system around the globe. Others see in economic globalisation the beginning of a new era in which states take a back seat in an all-encompassing "world polity" that increasingly defines its own rules and institutions, moving away from the "old" capitalist order. This course seeks to examine and discuss the main economic features of this process as they can, at present, be discerned, and to place these within a broader historical as well as theoretical context.

Central issues include:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of free trade? Who gains and who loses?
  • Is financial liberalisation working? How can recent financial crises be explained?
  • Does globalisation make it more or less difficult for developing nations to catch up?
  • What are the implications of globalisation for international labour mobility and wage structures?
  • Does the world economy require a new international regulatory framework? If so, what should this look like?

This course is available to all CISD students. The time of the lecture will rotate on a yearly basis: in 2014/15 lectures will take place at 6pm; in the 2015/16 session lectures will take place at 1pm.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

  • An understanding of how macroeconomists analyse growth performance, trade relations and financial relations.
  • A basic knowledge and understanding of the economic forces and interests that interact in shaping the world economy.
  • A basic knowledge and understanding of the current international institutional setting governing the world economy, its history, shortcomings and potential.
  • An understanding of the policy issues arising from recent developments in the world economy.
  • The tools necessary to develop a critical perspective on the impact of globalisation in different parts of the world.
  • An informed view of what institutional changes and policy tools may be required to govern the world economy in the future.

Workload

The course will be taught over 20 weeks with one 90 minute lecture and one 1 hour tutorial per week.

Method of assessment

  • Assessment one (3000 words); 20%
  • Assessment two (3000 words); 30%
  • Unseen written examination; 50%

Suggested reading

  • Glyn, Andrew, Capitalism Unleashed: Finance, Globalization and Welfare (2007)
  • Heilbroner, Robert, The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers (2000)
  • Krugman, Paul, The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 (2009)
  • Minsky, Hyman, Can "It" Happen Again?: Essays on Instability and Finance (1982)