Economic Diplomacy

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Stephen Woolcock CLM 6.13


This course is available on the MPA in European Public and Economic Policy, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM) and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE4You. Admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

This course enables students to gain an in-depth understanding of the nature of economic diplomacy. The course focuses on decision making and negotiating processes in international economic relations and includes, as an integral part of the course, an opportunity for a dialogue with a range of senior policy practitioners and simulation of negotiations. The course covers: the theoretical and analytical foundations of decision-making in economic diplomacy, focusing on national governments but including the role of non-state actors and international organisations; analysis of decision-making of processes in developed and developing countries, the European Union and multilateral institutions; case studies in economic diplomacy, on issues such as climate change, economic summitry, managing international financial crises, multilateral trade and investment agreements, and others. Watch a short introductory video on this course:


15 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the MT. 15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

There are 20 lectures (IR429.1) beginning in the first week of MT and continuing through the MT and LT. In addition to the lectures given by LSE staff responsible for the course, senior policy practitioners will make presentations on the case studies. These form an integral part of the course and are designed to provide insights into the factors shaping decision-making in international economic relations. The course also includes a weekly seminar series (IR429.2) which will begin in the third week of MT and continue through the MT and LT. The seminars will take the form of student presentations followed by group discussion. 

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to write three 2,000-word essays during the course of the year to be marked by the seminar teacher.

Indicative reading

Students will be expected to read widely in appropriate books and journals. A detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of MT. The following provide general background to the topic: N Bayne & S Woolcock, The New Economic Diplomacy: Decision-Making and Negotiation in International Economic Relations, third edition 2011; J Odell, Negotiating the World Economy, 2001; J Spero & J Hart, The Politics of International Economic Relations, sixth edition, 2003; N Bayne, Staying Together: The G8 Summit Confronts the 21st Century, 2005.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Students will have to answer three of 12 questions. 

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 6.8
Merit 53.7
Pass 35.8
Fail 3.7

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 55

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness