Not available in 2015/16
DV423      Half Unit
Global Political Economy of Development

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Robert Wade CON. H707


This course is available on the MPA in International Development, MSc in African Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Environment and Development, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Management, MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is not available as an outside option.

Please note that in case of over-subscription to this course priority will be given to students from the Department of International Development and its joint degrees (where their regulations permit). The instructors reserve the right to limit enrolment on the course. At the instructors’ discretion, enrolment may be denied to any student on the basis of a pre-quiz. The course is capped at 75 students.

Course content

The course examines the political economy of 'North-South' relations, focusing on how changes in international organizations and the international policy framework affect developing countries' economic trajectories and national-level strategies for interaction with the global economy. It covers the performance of the world economy as a whole; international systems of production, trade, and finance; the rules or regimes which govern interaction between economies, states and firms (regimes such as Bretton Woods, and the Post Bretton Woods dollar standard); and several international organizations (such as the World Bank and IMF). Along the way it analyses the major financial/economic crises of 1997-99 and 2007-continuing. In contrast to much writing in International Political Economy, it looks at these things from the perspective of the low and middle-income countries (in the spirit of the Swahili proverb, "Until lions have their own historians tales of hunting will always glorify the hunters"), and does not take for granted that the G7 states provide a generally benign ("win-win") environment for development in the rest of the world.


15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

There will be a ninety minute revision session in late LT or early ST.

Formative coursework

Students have the option of writing one essay of 2,000 words.

Indicative reading

Core text: John Ravenhill (ed), Global Political Economy, 4th edition, OUP, 2014.


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

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 12.7
Merit 67.5
Pass 18.8
Fail 1

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2014/15: 69

Average class size 2014/15: 15

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information