DV424      Half Unit
International Institutions and Late Development

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Kenneth Shadlen CON.6.07


This course is available on the CEMS Exchange, Global MSc in Management, Global MSc in Management (CEMS MIM), Global MSc in Management (MBA Exchange), MBA Exchange, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Economic Policy for International Development, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Media, Communication and Development, MSc in Political Economy of Late Development and MSc in Political Science (Global Politics). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

2/3 of the spaces are reserved for ID and joint degree students, distributed on a random basis.

1/3 go to non-ID/joint students, distributed on a random basis.

All students not admitted in the initial allocation of spaces go on the waitlist, and as space opens the course leader will select students, without regard to degree/dept.

Course content

This course examines the politics of the international economy. We analyse the overarching rules and regulations that structure the international economy, and thereby provide context for development policy, and we assess the role of a range of actors (e.g. governments, firms, non-state actors) in shaping and reshaping the international economic order. We are particularly interested in understanding the ways that developing countries respond to and participate in international regimes and organisations, and how changes in global economic governance affect opportunities for economic development. The first week, which synthesises a variety of explanations of the role that international organisations play in global politics, establishes the theoretical spine for the course. We then examine governance in international sovereign debt, analy. We analyse the politics of debt relief for the poorest and most heavily-indebted countries, where most of the debt is owed to public creditors; and we analyse the politics of debt restructuring for middle-income countries, where significant shares of the debt is owed to private/commercial creditors. The course then turns to the politics of international trade, investment, and intellectual property. This cluster of sessions is organised around a dialogue between multilateral and regional frameworks for integration into the global economy, with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) serving as our principal point of reference. We examine the emergence of the WTO, both in terms of the substance of the various agreements it administers and as an inter-governmental organisation with its own set of procedures for rule-making, policy monitoring and dispute-settlement. We analyse emerging arrangements for global governance in the areas of foreign investment and intellectual property, and in both cases we also study North-South, bilateral and regional trade and investment agreements, that exist parallel to the WTO.


20 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the WT.

Plus a 2-hour revision session in the ST. There will be a reading week in Week 6 of WT. 

Indicative reading

A detailed reading list is presented at the beginning of term.


Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the spring exam period.
Essay (15%, 1500 words) and essay (25%, 1500 words) in the WT.

2 essays (15% and 25%, each 1,500 words) in the WT. The larger weight goes to the essay receiving a higher mark. The feedback on the first in-term essay serves as “formative” for second, and the feedback on both in-term essays are formative for the ST exam.

The essays are based on – and linked to – the questions discussed in the weekly seminars. Details are posted on Moodle.

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2022/23: 47

Average class size 2022/23: 12

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

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

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills