EU482      Half Unit
Europe in World Trade

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Robert Basedow COW 1.07


This course is available on the MSc in Political Economy of Europe and MSc in Political Economy of Europe (LSE and Sciences Po). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

As globalisation progresses, foreign economic and trade policy acquire ever greater importance for our societies and economies. Few policy domains have recently mobilised the European public opinion as much as trade and foreign economic policy. The purpose of the class is to provide students with a theoretical toolkit and empirical knowledge to analyse the global economy and international trade regime from a European perspective. The course is structured into two thematic blocs. The first part  adopts a theoretical lens. It assesses trade as an ethical, economic and political phenomenon. It provides an overview of European thought on international trade. It shows how current trade policy debates continue to evolve around ideas and concepts formulated in Ancient Greece and Rome, medieval scholastic and moral philosophy of European Enlightenment. It then discusses the turn in classic and modern trade economics from normative questions toward efficiency and welfare analysis. Special emphasis is put on the evolving complex redistributive effects of trade policy within Europe and beyond. The first part  concludes with a discussion of the political sources of foreign economic policies. The second part of the course extends the debate to current political economy challenges. It evaluates from a European perspective how the emergence of the BRICs challenges of the multilateral trade regime. It focuses on Europe’s approach to preferential trade agreements, linkages between trade and development policy, global rule-making, investment regulation and protection. It concludes with a session on Brexit as an intra-European as well as global trade policy challenge. 


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

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

The formative coursework builds on an individual presentation (including a detailed outline of 1200 words with a bibliography), class and group discussion and work tasks.

Indicative reading

  • Conceicao-Heldt Da, Eugénia, Meunier, Sophie, Speaking with a Single Voice: The EU as an Effective Actor in Global Governance, Special Issue of the Journal of European Public Policy, 21:7, 2014.
  • Dür, Andreas, Elsig, Manfred. The European Union’s Foreign Economic Policies – A Principal-Agent Perspective. Routledge, London, 2012.
  • Gstöhl, Sieglinde, De Bièvre, The Trade Policy of the European Union. Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2018.
  • Krugman, Paul, Maurice Obstfeld, and Marc Melitz. International Trade: Theory and Policy: Global Edition. 10th edition, Pearson, 2014.
  • Hoekman, Bernard, and Michael Kostecki. The Political Economy of the World Trading System. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Meunier, Sophie. Trading Voices: The European Union in International Commercial Negotiations. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. 
  • Oatley, Thomas (ed). The international political economy, Routledge, New York, 2013.
  • Ravenhill, John (ed). The global political economy, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014.
  • Woolcock, Stephen, and Nicolas Bayne, eds. The New Economic Diplomacy. 2nd ed. Ashgate, 2007.


Essay (40%, 2500 words) in the LT.
Online assessment (50%) in the ST.
Class participation (10%).

The online assessment for this course will be administered via Moodle.  A review session will take place in Week 1 of the ST in preparation for this assessment.  Assessment questions will be made available via Moodle in Week 2 of the ST.  Students will answer 2 of 8 questions.  Answers to questions will be submitted in Week 5 of the ST.

Key facts

Department: European Institute

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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