IR489      Half Unit
Economic Diplomacy

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Boram Lee, CBG.8.09


This course is available on the MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Political Economy, MSc in International Political Economy (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Political Economy (Research) 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.

All students will be required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for you. Admission to the course is not guaranteed, due to limited space.  The course is primarily for students on the IPE Masters and LSE-Sciences-Po Double Degree masters.

Course content

The course introduces students to the theories and analytical frameworks relating to decision-making and negotiation in international economic relations and enables them to develop the skills needed to apply these to cases. It discusses the roles of the main actors, institutional settings and processes involved in domestic decision-making and international economic negotiations, and their interaction. The aim of the course is to provide participants with the ability to understand and analyse the factors shaping international negotiations in a range of policy issues from trade and investment, to the environment, economic summits and finance.


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

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


The course is composed of two modules. The first module (Week 1-3) discusses analytical toolkits for understanding economic diplomacy. During these initial weeks, students will learn about four approaches to economic diplomacy: a) balance of power and coercive bargaining, b) negotiations within international institutions, c) the effect of domestic politics, and d) the role of ideas and issue framing.


The second module (Week 4-10) features specific negotiation tactics frequently adopted by policymakers and important challenges that negotiators face in policy processes.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the WT.

Students will be expected to produce a short policy memo in the WT.

Indicative reading

  • Bayne, Nicholas and Woolcock, S. The new economic diplomacy: decision-making and negotiation in international economic relations, Third edition, Ashgate, Stephen 2013.
  • Koremenos, Barbara. The continent of international law: Explaining agreement design. Cambridge University Press, 2016.
  • Davis, Christina L. "Food fights over free trade." Food Fights over Free Trade. Princeton University Press, 2011.
  • Oye, Kenneth A. Economic discrimination and political exchange: World political economy in the 1930s and 1980s. Princeton University Press, 1993.


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

Take-home assessment (100%) in the ST. Students will be expected to produce a policy memo of no more than 2500 words.

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2022/23: 40

Average class size 2022/23: 13

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

  • Leadership
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness