This course provides a broad introduction to international political economy (IPE), one of the primary subfields of international relations. It investigates the political foundations of international economic relations. In other words it is not an economics course, but rather a politics course that examines international economic relations. Why are issues such as globalization, free trade areas, multinational corporations, the International Monetary Fund and World Bank politically sensitive? Moreover, where do these institutions and practices come from? Do increasing economic ties between nations foster larger cooperation or do they reflect underlying power relations in a more conflictual manner? How do we understand the recent global financial crisis?
These are among the questions that will be examined in this course. Students need not have a background in economics. Instead they will learn the major political science approaches for studying international political economy (IPE). They will also be exposed to the historical foundations of the current global economic order and examine current debates over the topics above.
As a 200-level special topics course in the Politics and Government Department, this course does not assume students have previous knowledge of the subject matter. By the time students complete this course they should (1) develop an understanding of the primary IPE theoretical traditions; (2) gain a basic idea of how markets operate; (3) learn how international political economy affects both international and domestic politics and vice versa; (4) gain exposure to the workings of international trade, finance and investment; (5) gain some understanding of issues surrounding international development.
In addition to these substantive goals, the course will emphasize collaborative learning in the classroom. Students are expected to attend class regularly and come to class prepared to speak about the required readings for that day.
The syllabus for POL 290ST is electronic and subject to change. It is always available at:
It is also available at the University of Hartford Blackboard site