International Political Economy

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

This module will examine the international political economy through a framework that goes beyond traditions of state-centrism and disciplinary boundaries between politics and economics. The course will study theoretical approaches to and contemporary issues within IPE. Students will explore the theories of leading analysts in the historical development of IPE, such as liberalism, marxism, feminism and postcolonialism. Contemporary themes and issues are addressed, including economic crises, global trade, production, financialisation and development. Students will be encouraged to think criticially about these issues through the study of power relationships, hierarchies, violence and exploitation.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of IPE as subfield and research programme of International Politics
  • Critically analyse theoretical approaches to IPE
  • Understand and analyse contemporary issues in IPE
  • Read and understand key texts, authors and traditions in IPE


1 hour Lecture per week

1 hour Seminar per week

Scope and syllabus

  1. Introdcution to IPE
  2. From liberalism to neoliberalism
  3. The return of economic nationalism
  4. Marxism in IPE
  5. Racial capitalism
  6. Feminist IPE
  7. Exploitation and (re)production
  8. Dispossession and land
  9. Trade and war
  10. FInancialisation and crisis

Method of assessment

Assessment is 100% coursework (one 1000 word essay and one 3000 word essay).

Suggested reading

  • Bhattacharyya, G. (2018). Rethinking racial capitalism: Questions of reproduction and survival. Rowman & Littlefield International.
  • Coulthard, G. S. (2014). Red skin, white masks: Rejecting the colonial politics of recognition. Minneapolis: Minnesota.
  • Cowen, D. (2014). The deadly life of logistics: Mapping violence in global trade. U of Minnesota Press.
  • Gilpin, R., Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
  • Harvey, D. (2007). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, USA.
  • McNally, D. (2009). From financial crisis to world-slump: Accumulation, financialisation, and the global slowdown. Historical Materialism, 17(2), 35-83.
  • Mies, M. (2014). Patriarchy and accumulation on a world scale: Women in the international division of labour. Zed Books Ltd..
  • Morton, A. D. (2003). Social forces in the struggle over hegemony: Neo-Gramscian perspectives in international political economy. Rethinking Marxism, 15(2), 153-179.
  • Mpofu, B., & Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S. J. (Eds.). (2019). Rethinking and Unthinking Development: Perspectives on Inequality and Poverty in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Berghahn Books.
  • Strange, S. (1995). Political economy and international relations. International relations theory today, 154-174.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules