International Political Economy: States and Markets in the 21st Century

  • Summer schools
  • Department of International Relations
  • Application code SS-IR209
  • Starting 2020
  • Short course: Closed
  • Location: Houghton Street, London

UPDATE: Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic we will no longer be offering this course in summer 2020. Please check our latest news on this situation here.

This course introduces students to the contemporary study of the dynamic interaction between the pursuit of wealth and the pursuit of power in the global economy.  The course presents the key concepts and theories of international political economy, and how these can be used to understand pressing empirical and economic policy questions facing policymakers and citizens in the 21st century.

A number of important questions will be investigated including:

  • Is globalization responsible for the rise of populism in the West?
  • How will “trade wars” impact the global political economy?
  • What political and institutional factors are responsible for banking panics, currency crashes, and sovereign defaults?
  • Why have governments failed to take sufficient action to prevent climate change?
  • Do multinational corporations pose a threat to state sovereignty and the welfare state?
  • Will the renminbi or euro replace the dollar as the principal international currency?
  • Do Western countries dominate international economic institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization?

Session: One
Dates: 22 June – 10 July 2020
Lecturer: Professor Jeffrey Chwieroth


Programme details

Key facts

Level: 200 level. Read more information on levels in our FAQs

Fees:  Please see Fees and payments

Lectures: 36 hours 

Classes: 18 hours

Assessment*: One examination and one essay

Typical credit**: 3-4 credits (US) 7.5 ECTS points (EU)

*Assessment is optional

**You will need to check with your home institution

For more information on exams and credit, read Teaching and assessment


At least one introductory course in either social science (e.g. political science, international relations, sociology, economics), history or law.

Programme structure

  • Introduction: IPE – States and Markets in the 21st Century
  • Understanding the Creation of the Global Economic Order
  • The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank
  • The World Trade Organization and Regional Trade Agreements
  • The Political Origins of Economic Development
  • Climate Change and Global Environmental Politics
  • The Political Economy of Banking Crises, Currency Crashes, and Sovereign Defaults
  • Trade Wars between the United States and China
  • Key International Currencies: The Dollar, Renminbi, and Euro
  • Central Banking since the Global Financial Crisis
  • Brexit, the European Union, and the Politics of Austerity
  • Multinational Corporations

Course outcomes

Students will develop a deeper understanding of the political and institutional context in which the global economy operates.


With a vibrant research culture, the LSE Department of International Relations is one of the oldest and largest in the world, and remains a leading world centre for the development of the subject. Its reputation for international excellence was recognised in the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise, the LSE Government and International Relations Departments' joint submission was ranked first in the UK for the percentage of its research graded world leading or internationally excellent (88%). LSE also came top in the Politics and International Studies REF panel in terms of the most research publications graded “world leading” (4*); the absolute number of top-rated research outputs.         

LSE’s Department of International Relations ranked 5th in the world in the 2018 QS World University ranking for Politics and International Studies.

On this three-week intensive programme, you will engage with and learn from full-time lecturers from the LSE’s international relations faculty.

Reading materials

Thomas Oatley, International Political Economy,  Pearson/Longman, 5th edition (2016). 

John Ravenhill (ed.), Global Political Economy, Oxford University Press, 5th edition (2016).

*A more detailed reading list will be supplied prior to the start of the programme

**Course content, faculty and dates may be subject to change without prior notice

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