Politics of Money in the World Economy

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Thomas Sattler CLM 4.10


This course is available on the 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 Political Science and Political Economy. 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 LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

This course is designed as a component of the study of a global system in which the management and mismanagement of money and finance are matters of fundamental consequence, for both international relations and domestic politics. It is intended to be of particular relevance to students specialising in international political economy. This is a course in applied political economy theory. It deals with the basic concepts regarding the creation, use and management of money and finance in the global system. Students are then introduced to international monetary relations over the past one and a half centuries. Issues covered include the use of national currencies as international money, the politics of exchange rate adjustment, the operations of banks and other institutions in international money and capital markets, the evolution of global financial markets, the relationship between states and markets in the arena of global finance, international monetary cooperation, and the choices of monetary and financial policies open to developed and developing countries. The course emphasises that contemporary issues, such as financial crises, financial regulation and the politics of IMF conditionality, are best understood in a broader theoretical and historical context. Watch a short introductory video on this course:


10 hours of lectures, 10 hours of lectures and 12 hours of seminars in the MT. 6 hours of lectures, 4 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT.

One lecture course (IR451.1) and one seminar course (IR451.2). Lectures begin in the first week of MT and continue in the LT. Seminars begin in the third week of the MT and continue in the LT. A series of 14 additional lectures (held in MT and early LT) are given as part of IR451.1, Introducing Concepts in Monetary Theory and International Monetary Economics. Students intending to take the course are expected to attend these lectures unless they already have a strong background in monetary economics. An ‘Examination Techniques and Preparation’ lecture will be held in week 2 of ST as part of the IR450 lecture series.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to make presentations on topics of their choice and to write three 2,000-word essays, to be marked by the seminar teacher.

Indicative reading

No one book covers the entire syllabus, but the following general works provide a useful introduction: B Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital (2008); A Walter and G Sen, Analyzing the Global Political Economy (2009); A Walter, World Power and World Money (1993); R Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations (1987), Chapters 4 & 8; S Strange, Mad Money (1998); J Frieden & D Lake, International Political Economy: Perspective on Global Power and Wealth, section IIIC; C Randall Henning, Currencies and Politics (1994); T. Porter, Globalization and Finance (2005); D Andrews (ed), International Monetary Power (2006).


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

There is a three-hour formal examination in the ST based on the lecture course and work covered in the seminars. The paper contains about 12 questions, of which three are to be answered.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 6.2
Merit 52.3
Pass 38.5
Fail 3.1

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 68

Average class size 2012/13: 14

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication