GV4F8      Half Unit
Institutions and Global Trade

This information is for the 2021/22 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.

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.


This course provides a minimum of 20 hours of lectures and seminars in the Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus sessions. There will be a reading week in LT Week 6 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.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.5
Merit 66.7
Pass 12.3
Fail 3.5

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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: Government

Total students 2020/21: Unavailable

Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable

Controlled access 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information