GV4F8      Half Unit
Institutions and Global Trade

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Stephanie Rickard


This course is available on the MSc in Comparative Politics, MSc in Political Science and Political Economy and Master of Public Policy. This course is not available as an outside option.

The deadline for applications is 17:00 on Tuesday 1 October 2019. You will be informed of the outcome by 17:00 on Wednesday 2 October 2019.

Course content

This course examines the role institutions play in global trade. Theories from both economics and political science are used to understand how formal institutions shape states’ trade policies. Both domestic and international institutions influence countries’ trade policies. Therefore, this course examines domestic political institutions, such as electoral systems, as well as international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization.


10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

There will be a reading week in week 6 of the LT for private study and assessment preparation.

Formative coursework

Students will be asked to complete weekly writing assignments.

Indicative reading

Rose, Andrew K. (2004) Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? American Economic Review 94(1): 98-114; Rickard, Stephanie (2010) Democratic Differences: Electoral Institutions and Compliance with GATT/WTO Agreements. European Journal of International Relations; Moravcsik, Andy (1989) Disciplining Trade Finance: The OECD Export Credit Arrangement, International Organization; Nooruddin, Irfan and Joel W. Simmons (2006). The Politics of Hard Choices: IMF Programs and Government Spending. International Organization 60: 1001-1033.


Essay (100%, 4000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 13.6
Merit 48.5
Pass 35.9
Fail 1.9

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2018/19: 19

Average class size 2018/19: 9

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information