International Political Economy

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
20 April 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Politicians, journalists, and activists use the term "globalisation" to refer to a wide range of economic, political, and social phenomena, from increasing global trade, deeper integration of financial markets, rising foreign investment, or reduced transportation and communication costs, to the emergence of global cultural trends.

This module examines the dynamics associated with the global integration of the world economy from a political economy perspective. Throughout the module, we will address the question "How do international/global economic factors (trade, finance, etc.) affect domestic politics, and how do domestic politics affect the international economy".

Students are expected to come prepared to class. This means reading the assigned material, taking notes about main ideas and/or questions, and actively engaging in in-class discussions. The quality of the module largely depends on students' participation and engagement.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce theories from international political economy (IPE) to explore the politics behind globalisation.

  • To provide students with the opportunity to use analytical categories to explain the most salient trends in the global economy and how they constrain (or not) domestic politics.

  • To work on strengthening the following skills: critical thinking (based on careful reading of class materials, and their application to cases and examples), argumentation, and written and oral presentations.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify the main approaches, concepts, and methods employed in IPE.

  2. Identify and explain key concepts in IPE.

  3. Use theories to explain the causes and effects of international trade, international capital flows, monetary relations, and the main debates around globalisation.

  4. Demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills when analysing political phenomena.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This is a 10-week module based on one two-hour seminar. Classes 9 and 10 will have a different format and will be based on the discussion of students' presentations.


  • Baker, A. (2005) ‘Who Wants to Globalize? Consumer Tastes and Labor Markets in a Theory of Trade Policy Beliefs’, American Journal of Political Science, 49(4), pp. 924–938. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2005.00164.x.
  • Nisha Mukherjee and Jonathan Krieckhaus (no date) ‘Globalization and Human Well-Being’, International Political Science Review / Revue internationale de science politique [Preprint]. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41428098?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
  • Lockwood, E. (2021) ‘The international political economy of global inequality’, Review of International Political Economy, 28(2), pp. 421–445. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2020.1775106.
  • Hiscox, M.J. (2001) ‘Class Versus Industry Cleavages: Inter-Industry Factor Mobility and the Politics of Trade’, International Organization, 55(1), pp. 1–46. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1162/002081801551405.
  • Betz, T. and Pond, A. (2019) ‘The Absence of Consumer Interests in Trade Policy’, The Journal of Politics, 81(2), pp. 585–600. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/701493.
  • Mutz, D., Mansfield, E.D. and Kim, E. (2021) ‘The Racialization of International Trade’, Political Psychology, 42(4), pp. 555–573. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12714.
  • Chow, W.M. and Kono, D.Y. (2017) ‘Entry, Vulnerability, and Trade Policy: Why Some Autocrats Like International Trade’, International Studies Quarterly, 61(4), pp. 892–906. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqx036.
  • Nielson, D.L. (2003) ‘Supplying Trade Reform: Political Institutions and Liberalization in Middle-Income Presidential Democracies’, American Journal of Political Science, 47(3). Available at: https://doi.org/10.2307/3186110.
  • Betz, T. (2017) ‘Trading Interests: Domestic Institutions, International Negotiations, and the Politics of Trade’, The Journal of Politics, 79(4), pp. 1237–1252. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/692476.
  • Schneider, C.J. (2011) ‘Weak States and Institutionalized Bargaining Power in International Organizations1’, International Studies Quarterly, 55(2), pp. 331–355. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2478.2011.00651.x.
  • Lipson, C. (1991) ‘Why are some international agreements informal?’, International Organization, 45(4), pp. 495–538. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818300033191.
  • Johnson, T. and Urpelainen, J. (2014) ‘International Bureaucrats and the Formation of Intergovernmental Organizations: Institutional Design Discretion Sweetens the Pot’, International Organization, 68(1), pp. 177–209. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818313000349.
  • Nathan M. Jensen (2003) ‘Democratic Governance and Multinational Corporations: Political Regimes and Inflows of Foreign Direct Investment’, International Organization, 57(3), pp. 587–616. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3594838?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
  • Owen, E. (2015) ‘The Political Power of Organized Labor and the Politics of Foreign Direct Investment in Developed Democracies’, Comparative Political Studies, 48(13), pp. 1746–1780. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414015592641.
  • Pandya, S.S. (2016) ‘Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment: Globalized Production in the Twenty-First Century’, Annual Review of Political Science, 19(1), pp. 455–475. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-051214-101237.
  • LeBaron, G. et al. (2021) ‘Blind spots in IPE: marginalized perspectives and neglected trends in contemporary capitalism’, Review of International Political Economy, 28(2), pp. 283–294. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2020.1830835.
  • Norrlof, C. (2017) ‘The international political economy of money, macro-money theories and methods’, Review of International Political Economy, 24(4), pp. 718–736. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2017.1355332.
  • James, A. et al. (2022) ‘Sovereign Wealth Funds in Theory and Practice’, Annual Review of Resource Economics, 14(1), pp. 621–646. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-resource-111920-015758.
  • Bodea, C., Garriga, A.C. and Higashijima, M. (2019) ‘Economic Institutions and Autocratic Breakdown: Monetary Constraints and Fiscal Spending in Dominant-Party Regimes’, The Journal of Politics, 81(2), pp. 601–615. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/701831.
  • Bodea, C. and Hicks, R. (2015) ‘International Finance and Central Bank Independence: Institutional Diffusion and the Flow and Cost of Capital’, The Journal of Politics, 77(1), pp. 268–284. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/678987.
  • Markgraf, J. and Rosas, G. (2019) ‘On Board with Banks: Do Banking Connections Help Politicians Win Elections?’, The Journal of Politics, 81(4), pp. 1357–1370. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/704435.
  • Walter, S. (2021) ‘The Backlash Against Globalization’, Annual Review of Political Science, 24(1), pp. 421–442. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-041719-102405.
  • Milner, H.V. (2021) ‘Is Global Capitalism Compatible with Democracy? Inequality, Insecurity, and Interdependence’, International Studies Quarterly, 65(4), pp. 1097–1110. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqab056.
  • Layna, M. and David, S. (2015) ‘Migration, Labor, and the International Political Economy’, Annual Review of Political Science, 18(1), pp. 283–301. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-polisci-020614-094809.
  • Jennifer Fitzgerald (2014) ‘Defying the Law of Gravity: The Political Economy of International Migration’, World Politics, 66(3), pp. 406–445. Available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/550481.
  • Margaret E. Peters (2015) ‘Open Trade, Closed Borders: Immigration in the Era of Globalization’, World Politics, 67(1), pp. 114–154. Available at: https://muse.jhu.edu/article/565712.
  • Bearce, D.H. and Hart, A.F. (2017) ‘International Labor Mobility and the Variety of Democratic Political Institutions’, International Organization, 71(1), pp. 65–95. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818316000266.
  • Holland, A.C. and Peters, M.E. (2020) ‘Explaining Migration Timing: Political Information and Opportunities’, International Organization, 74(3), pp. 560–583. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S002081832000017X.
  • Adida, C.L. and Girod, D.M. (2011) ‘Do Migrants Improve Their Hometowns? Remittances and Access to Public Services in Mexico, 1995-2000’, Comparative Political Studies, 44(1), pp. 3–27. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/0010414010381073.
  • Alesina, A. and Dollar, D. (2000) ‘Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?’, Journal of Economic Growth, 5(1), pp. 33–63. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40216022.
  • Briggs, R.C. (2017) ‘Does Foreign Aid Target the Poorest?’, International Organization, 71(1), pp. 187–206. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818316000345.
  • William Easterly (2003) ‘Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?’, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(3), pp. 23–48. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3216821?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
  • Bermeo, S.B. (2017) ‘Aid Allocation and Targeted Development in an Increasingly Connected World’, International Organization, 71(4), pp. 735–766. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818317000315.
  • Dietrich, S. (2016) ‘Donor Political Economies and the Pursuit of Aid Effectiveness’, International Organization, 70(1), pp. 65–102. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818315000302.
  • Heinrich, T. and Kobayashi, Y. (2020) ‘How Do People Evaluate Foreign Aid To “Nasty” Regimes?’, British Journal of Political Science, 50(1), pp. 103–127. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123417000503.
  • Ziaja, S. (2020) ‘More Donors, More Democracy’, The Journal of Politics, 82(2), pp. 433–447. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1086/706111.
  • Milner, H.V. and Mukherjee, B. (2009) ‘Democratization and Economic Globalization’, Annual Review of Political Science, 12(1), pp. 163–181. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.polisci.12.110507.114722.
  • Huber, E., Petrova, B. and Stephens, J.D. (2020) ‘Financialization, labor market institutions and inequality’, Review of International Political Economy, pp. 1–28. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2020.1808046.
  • Layna Mosley (no date) ‘Room to Move: International Financial Markets and National Welfare States’, International Organization [Preprint]. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2601380?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
  • Nita Rudra (no date) ‘Globalization and the Decline of the Welfare State in Less Developed Countries’, International Organization [Preprint]. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3078610?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents.
  • Walter, S. (2010) ‘Globalization and the Welfare State: Testing the Microfoundations of the Compensation Hypothesis’, International Studies Quarterly, 54(2), pp. 403–426. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2478.2010.00593.x.
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 Coursework weighting
Coursework   Moodle Test 2    25% 
Coursework   Contemporary issues - reaction paper  21/11/2023  30% 
Coursework   Moodle test 1  12/12/2023  20% 
Practical   Contemporary issues - group presentation  05/12/2023  25% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Carolina Garriga, email: carolina.garriga@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Garriga carolina.garriga@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator Edmund Walker govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 16 hours, 16 (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), module, or event type.


Further information

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