Domestic Politics and International Relations

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
11 May 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L150 Political Economics,
BA L151 Political Economics (Including Year Abroad),
BA L152 Political Economics (Including Placement Year)

Module description

This module will examine the relationship between domestic politics and international relations. How do interest groups influence the trajectory of a country's foreign policy? Who benefits and gains from globalization and how does this affect their political beliefs?

In the first half of the module we will explore how domestic politics and interests influence government's decisions in the international arena. In the second half of the module we take a reverse perspective and examine how international politics affects domestic political leadership, policies, cleavages, and even institutions. A broader goal of the module is to practice a scientific approach to the study of politics. We will be particularly interested in how scholars propose hypotheses about the domestic-international relationship and how they use empirical evidence to test these propositions.

Module aims

Analyse relationship between domestic politics and international level processes
Shed light on domestic sources of state preferences
Explore effects of international processes on domestic variables
Strengthen ability of student for independent academic work

Module learning outcomes

Enable students to understand and critically analyze the relationship of domestic politics and international relations. Develop understanding of the role of interest group influence on state preferences, in areas such as trade and foreign aid. Develop understanding of the role of international process in shaping domestic politics, including democratic institutions, welfare state provisions and populist electoral politics. Foster ability for independent academic work.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered with (i) a weekly pre-recorded lecture and (ii) a weekly interactive seminar. The pre-recorded lecture will consist of one or more items of prepared content that students can access electronically and must study before the interactive lecture. The interactive seminar will consist of one 50-minute seminar in which students can ask questions about, and discuss various aspects of, the prepared content with the module supervisor.


  • Putnam, Robert D. (1988) 'Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games', in International Organization. vol. 42 (3) , pp.427-460
  • Jacobs, Lawrence; Page, Benjamin. (c2011) '“Business Versus Public Influence in US Foreign Policy" in American foreign policy: theoretical essays', in American foreign policy: theoretical essays, Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
  • Almond, Gabriel A. (1989) 'The International-National Connection', in British Journal of Political Science. vol. 19 (2) , pp.237-259
  • Mosley, Layna. (2000) 'Room to Move: International Financial Markets and National Welfare States', in International Organization. vol. 54 (4) , pp.737-773
  • Hiscox, Michael J. (2006) 'Through a Glass and Darkly: Attitudes toward International Trade and the Curious Effects of Issue Framing', in International Organization. vol. 60 (3) , pp.755-780
  • Weeks, Jessica L. (2012) 'Strongmen and Straw Men: Authoritarian Regimes and the Initiation of International Conflict', in American Political Science Review. vol. 106 (02) , pp.326-347
  • KONO, DANIEL Y. (2006-8) 'Optimal Obfuscation: Democracy and Trade Policy Transparency', in American Political Science Review. vol. 100 (03) , pp.369-384
  • Posner, Daniel N. (2004) 'The Political Salience of Cultural Difference: Why Chewas and Tumbukas Are Allies in Zambia and Adversaries in Malawi', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 98 (4) , pp.529-545
  • Hee Park, Jong; Jensen, Nathan. (2007-04) 'Electoral Competition and Agricultural Support in OECD Countries', in American Journal of Political Science. vol. 51 (2) , pp.314-329
  • Lange, Matthew K. (2004) 'British Colonial Legacies and Political Development', in World Development. vol. 32 (6) , pp.905-922
  • Rudra, Nita. (2002) 'Globalization and the Decline of the Welfare State in Less-Developed Countries', in International Organization. vol. 56 (2) , pp.411-445
  • Garrett, Geoffrey. (1998) 'Global Markets and National Politics: Collision Course or Virtuous Circle?', in International Organization. vol. 52 (4) , pp.787-824
  • Olsson, Ola. (2009) 'On the democratic legacy of colonialism', in Journal of Comparative Economics. vol. 37 (4) , pp.534-551
  • Pevehouse, Jon C. (2002) 'Democracy from the Outside-In? International Organizations and Democratization', in International Organization. vol. 56 (3) , pp.515-549
  • Rudra, Nita. (2005) 'Globalization and the Strengthening of Democracy in the Developing World', in American Journal of Political Science. vol. 49 (4) , pp.704-730
  • Firmin-Sellers, Kathryn Firmin-Sellers. (2000) 'Institutions, Context, and Outcomes: Explaining French and British Rule in West Africa', in Comparative Politics. vol. 32 (3) , pp.253-272
  • Gourevitch, Peter. (1978) 'The Second Image Reversed: The International Sources of Domestic Politics', in International Organization. vol. 32 (4) , pp.881-912
  • Hainmueller, Jens; Hiscox, Michael J. (2006-4) 'Learning to Love Globalization: Education and Individual Attitudes Toward International Trade', in International Organization. vol. 60 (02)
  • Milner, Helen. (2006) ''Why Multilateralism?' in Delegation and agency in international organizations', in Delegation and agency in international organizations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. Political economy of institutions and decisions
  • Alison, Graham. (c2011) '“Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” in American foreign policy: theoretical essays', in American foreign policy: theoretical essays, Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
  • Schultz, Kenneth A. (1999) 'Do Democratic Institutions Constrain or Inform? Contrasting Two Institutional Perspectives on Democracy and War', in International Organization. vol. 53 (2) , pp.233-266
  • Frieden, Jeffry; Martin, Lisa. (c2002) '“International Political Economy: Global and Domestic Interactions" in Political science: the state of the discipline', in Political science: the state of the discipline, New York: Norton.
  • Miguel, Edward. (2004) 'Tribe or Nation? Nation Building and Public Goods in Kenya versus Tanzania', in World Politics. vol. 56 (3) , pp.327-362
  • Aldrich, John H.; Sullivan, John L.; Borgida, Eugene. (1989-03) 'Foreign Affairs and Issue Voting: Do Presidential Candidates "Waltz Before A Blind Audience?"', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 83 (1) , pp.123-
  • Singer, J. David. (1961) 'The Level-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations', in World Politics. vol. 14 (1) , pp.77-92

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Powerpoint Presentation    50% 
Coursework   Essay    50% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Martin Steinwand, email: martin.steinwand@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Martin Steinwand
Dr Martin Steinwand: ms17779@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Sallyann West, govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Mohammed Rodwan Abouharb
University College London
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.