Political Economy of Global Integration

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The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
20 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module examines globalisation from a political economy perspective. Globalisation is a rather nebulous term that researchers, politicians, journalists and activists apply to a wide range of economic, political and social phenomena.
The term may refer to increasing global trade, deeper integration of financial markets, increasing foreign direct investment, the spread of multinational corporations, reduced travel, transportation and communication costs, and the emergence of global cultural trends. Globalisation impacts people in many different ways, both positively and negatively. It can enrich our lives, but it may also spur disruption and backlash.

The module introduces theories from international and comparative political economy to explore the politics behind globalisation. We will examine why firms trade and the rules governing the global trading system. We will also explore the rules underpinning international finance and we will examine why firms and individuals seek to invest abroad. In particular, we will focus on the political consequences of these decisions for democracy and the social policy. Lastly, we will explore these questions surrounding integration with respect to the most successful examine of integration; the European Union.

Module aims

The module introduces theories from international political economy (IPE) to explore the politics behind globalisation. We will analyse why firms trade and the rules governing international trade, why firms invest abroad, and the structure of international finance.

The last sessions will explore contemporary issues in the global economy, such as migration, poverty and inequality, foreign aid, or the effects of globalisation on domestic politics. The society- and state-centred approaches provide analytical tools to understand who wins and who loses from globalisation, and what policies governments can implement.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students should 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 analyzing political phenomena.

Throughout the module, we will 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 information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The module will be taught as one two-hour lecture per week. Students are expected to come prepared to lecture. This means carefully reading the assigned material, thinking about what you have read, and being prepared to actively engage in in-class discussions. The quality of the module will depend in large part on how well prepared you are.


  • 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.
  • Jensen, N.M. and Rosas, G. (2020) ‘Open for Politics? Globalization, Economic Growth, and Responsibility Attribution’, Journal of Experimental Political Science, 7(2), pp. 89–100. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/XPS.2019.24.
  • 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

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 Jonathan Slapin, email: jslapin@essex.ac.uk.
Jonathan Slapin plus Teaching Assistants
Jonathan Slapin email TBA Administrator TBA



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

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