IR469      Half Unit
Politics of Money in the World Economy

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Martin Hearson LCH.2.04


This course is available on the MPA in European Policy-Making, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Political Economy (Research), MSc in Political Science and Political Economy and Master of Public Administration. 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 international relations. It is intended to be of particular relevance to students specialising in international political economy. This is a course in applied international 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 the political foundations of international monetary governance. 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 international financial crises, international financial regulation and the politics of IMF conditionality, are best understood in a broader theoretical and analytical context.


10 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Students intending to take the course should have a strong background in monetary economics.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

Students are expected to make presentations on topics of their choice and to write one 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); R Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations (1987), Chapters 4 & 8; S Strange, Mad Money (1998); J Frieden & D Lake, International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth, section IIIC; T. Porter, Globalization and Finance (2005); D Andrews (ed), International Monetary Power (2006).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

There is a two-hour formal examination in the ST based on the lecture course and work covered in the seminars. The paper contains about 10 questions, of which two are to be answered.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2016/17: 65

Average class size 2016/17: 17

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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