IR369      Half Unit
Politics of Money in the World Economy

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Jeffrey Chwieroth CBG.10.12


This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and Chinese, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

This course has a limited number of places (it is capped).


Some background knowledge of international political economy, such as that provided in IR206 International Political Economy, will be useful to students taking this course.

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.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours across Michaelmas Term. 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 MT.

The essay will be 1500 words.  Students are also expected to make presentations on topics of their choice 

Indicative reading

No one book covers the entire syllabus, but the following general works provide a useful introduction:

• B Eichengreen, Globalizing Capital (2019);

• T Porter, Globalization and Finance (2005);

• D Andrews (ed), International Monetary Power (2006);

• J Frieden, Currency politics: the political economy of exchange rate policy (2015);

• E Helleiner, The status quo crisis: global financial governance after the 2008 meltdown (2014);

• C. Norloff, America's global advantage: US hegemony and international cooperation (2010);

• B Cohen, Currency power: understanding monetar rivalry (2015)

• J Chwieroth and A Walter, The Wealth Effect (2019)


Take-home assessment (100%) in January.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 32.5
2:1 53.2
2:2 14.3
Third 0
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2021/22: 35

Average class size 2021/22: 12

Capped 2021/22: Yes (36)

Lecture capture used 2021/22: Yes (MT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills