Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session

Course Overview

This course examines the politics of international economic relations. Government decision making in areas such as trade policy, exchange rates, and financial flows are influenced not only by economic factors, but also by political processes within and among countries. Only by systematically analyzing these political processes can we understand and explain the actual patterns of economic exchange that we observe - both today and throughout history. This course begins with a discussion of the analytical “lenses” through which we can view the global economy. It then examines the politics of trade policy, the internationalization of production (i.e., multinational corporations), international monetary and financial relations, third-world development and communist transition; and the debate over “globalization.” Along the way, we will discuss some “hot-button” issues in the global economy: the fight against terrorist financing and money laundering; the proper role of international financial institutions (including the IMF); and the impact of the global economy on the ability of governments to make policy within their own borders.

Course Requirements

Students are expected to attend all class sessions, to complete the assigned readings prior to class, and to complete all written assignments and exams.


The following books are required for the course:

Frieden, Jeffry A., and David A. Lake, eds. International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1999. ISBN: 9780312189693.

Oatley, Thomas. International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Pearson Longman, 2005. ISBN: 9780321355669.

Stiglitz, Joseph E. Globalization and Its Discontents. New York, NY: W.W. Norton, 2003. ISBN: 9780393324396.


Grades for this course will be based on an in-class examination, a take-home essay exam, a final examination, and class attendance and participation.

In-class examination 25%
Take-home essay exam 25%
Final examination 30%
Class participation 20%

In-Class Examination

An in-class examination will be given in Ses #11, which will cover material from the readings, lectures, and class discussions. No make-up exams will be given.

Take-Home Essay Exam

For this 8-page (approximate length) essay, due in class on Ses #21, you will answer an essay question distributed in class on Ses #19. Your essay should be based on the material from the readings, lectures, and class discussions, and must be double-spaced in 12-point font. The essay is due in class - no email attachments, please. Late papers will be penalized with a full letter grade deduction per 24 hours. Collaboration with other students is not permitted.

Final Examination

The two-hour final examination will have two parts, each of which will count for one half of the exam grade. The first part will ask you to identify and discuss the significance of important concepts, events, and processes contained in the course. The second part will ask you to answer one of two essay questions, similar in style to the take-home essay.

Class Participation

Class participation includes attendance and active involvement in class discussions. In addition, students are required to write four “reaction papers” (approximately two pages in length), each of which synthesizes and critiques a week’s readings.


Analytical perspectives
1-2 Introduction: Markets and politics  
International trade
3-4 Overview of the multilateral trade system  
5-6 Trade policy: Analytical perspectives  
7-8 Trade policy: Empirical studies  
9 Review for exam  
10 Trade and development  
11 In-class examination In-class examination
Money and finance
12-13 Foreign direct investment and the multinational corporation  
14 The international monetary system  
15-16 Exchange rate politics  
17-18 International financial institutions  
19-20 International finance and development Topics for take-home essay handed out in Ses #19
21 Discussion Take-home essay due
22-23 Economies in transition  
The globalization debate
24-25 Positive and negative externalities of globalization  

The illicit global economy



Course Info

Learning Resource Types

assignment Written Assignments