IR470      Half Unit
International Political Economy

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr James Morrison CBG.10.12


This course is compulsory on the MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in International Political Economy (Research). This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

An advanced introduction to concepts and contending theoretical, analytical, and methodological approaches in international political economy, and an overview of contemporary issues in international economic relations.

This course is the core course for MSc International Political Economy. It aims to introduce students to various approaches to the study of international political economy (IPE), and to apply theories to important contemporary empirical issues. The first part of the course introduces students to the main theoretical concepts in and analytical approaches to political economy, emphasising the overlap between international and comparative approaches. After surveying the main schools of thought in the subject, it examines more recent theoretical developments, including the comparative and domestic approaches that have become increasingly prominent in the literature. The second part of the course examines the evolution of the international economic system since the Second World War, with particular reference to contemporary concerns, debates and issues.   Previous background in international relations, international economics, comparative politics and history is helpful but is not a requirement.


This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Michaelmas Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person classes/classes delivered online.

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

Formative coursework

One 2,000-word essay will be set and marked by the seminar teacher.

Students will also give a presentation delivered during the seminars.

Indicative reading

It is advisable to begin reading before the lectures start, and the following general texts are recommended. A more complete source-list is provided in the course outline.

• Oatley, 'International Political Economy' (2017)

• Ravenhill, 'Global Political Economy' (2020);

• Walter and Sen, 'Analyzing the Global Political Economy' (2009);

• J Frieden, D Lake and JL Broz (eds), 'International Political Economy' (2017);


Take-home assessment (100%) in the LT.

Assessment will take place in the January exam period

Student performance results

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.6
Merit 70.5
Pass 14.2
Fail 0.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2019/20: 78

Average class size 2019/20: 11

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information