PIR-10058 - Introduction to Global Political Economy (GPE)
Coordinator: Bulent Gokay Room: CBA2.002 Tel: +44 1782 7 33512
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

This course will provide you with an introduction to the key issues, history, and perspectives in the field of Global Political Economy [GPE]. This module is about the structure, it is a ┐big picture┐ module that serves as an introduction to the study of GPE.

GPE is a relatively new area of inquiry for analysing International Relations in combination with Political Economy. GPE goes beyond the study of the major global financial and economic actors such as the G-20, IMF and the World Bank to look also at transnational processes such as drug trafficking, illegal arms trade, smuggling goods and people, and laundering the money made from them, their financial products, which are estimated to amount to a trillion dollars annually. It is hard to imagine a world without GPE because the mutual interaction of International Politics and the global economy is today widely appreciated and the subject of much academic research and applied policy analysis. This module includes both mainstream and critical approaches to analysing the Global Political Economy.
The module is organized in several key parts corresponding to the different kinds of languages/ discourses with which you need to become familiar. In the first part, the module introduces some historical background on the development and key elements in the global economy and various perspectives used to make sense of things. It looks at the global system as a whole, examining the assumptions of different perspectives on political economy. In the second part, we will examine key perspectives and related concepts, models, and empirical evidence. Here we will explain terms such as the balance of payments and comparative advantage and study the discourse of mainstream political economy. The third part of the module builds on the first two as we turn to a critical assessment of the spread of global political economy relationships as experienced in key issue areas. In other words, the module will move from more abstract and broad themes to specific issues.

As this module is designed as an introduction to studying the Global Political Economy, we assume that students do not already have any background in political economy. The module aims to demonstrate how an understanding of GPE can help students to make sense of the current global financial crisis, wars for resources, global business news, and government policies such as austerity or quantitative easing ┐by presenting the history, theories, institutions, and relationships found in GPE in simple ways that still capture the complexity of the global issues and related problems addressed.

1. to provide students with an introduction to thinking critically about the essential linkages between economics and politics globally by studying a number of contemporary case studies and approaches; 2. to offer an in-depth analysis of the global political economy since the WWII; 3. to enable students to develop a critical perspective on the scholarly debates in the current literature on the GPE and to develop their own perspectives on the linkages between the global economy and international politics.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Recognise and distinguish between the main theories and concepts employed in the study of global political economy: 1,2
Critically assess the analyses of a range of issues in the global economy offered by the different approaches in the field of global political economy
: 1,2
Identify and explain patterns of development in the global political economy since the end of the WWII: 1,2

Study hours

20 hours: contact time in ten one-hour seminars and ten one-hour lectures
60 hours: preparation for ten tutorials, including for oral presentation
70 hours preparation and completion of assessments

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Presentation weighted 30%
Seminar presentation with pp-slayts (approx 10 slayts+reading list)
Seminar assessment is awarded on the basis of the student┐s seminar presentation, providing a detailed power-point (approx 10 slayts+reading list), and responding to questions/ comments by other members of the class.

2: Essay weighted 70%
1500-word Essay
1500-word Essay should be based on one of the Essay Questions given in the module handbook.