MA Political Science - European Politics & Policy Pathway (Research Route) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Critical Approaches to International Political Economy

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI70311
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course is designed as an advanced-level overview of the field of critical International Political Economy, with emphasis on an examination of the theoretical approaches and conceptual frameworks on which it rests. In doing so, the course sets the foundations for students to continue their exploration of key aspects of critical International Political Economy in the second semester in POLI70282: Critical Globalisation Studies.




  • To provide an advanced introduction to the major theoretical approaches in orthodox and critical International Political Economy.
  • To examine the utility of each theoretical approach.
  • To assess on this basis the body of IPE theory and the evolution of the field of International Political Economy.
  • To enhance students' critical, evaluative and communicative skills.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course you can expect to:

  • have developed a comprehensive and considered understanding of the field of critical International Political Economy.
  • have developed a critical understanding of the scholarly literature.
  • be able to work with and be critical of key conceptual approaches.
  • be able to identify salient issues and new areas of research within the discipline, in particular the challenges posed to the mainstream by Marxist, feminist, post-structural and post-colonial perspectives.
  • have enhanced your critical, evaluative, and communicative skills through your participation in class discussions, your research and your production of a course essay.

Teaching and learning methods

  • 1 x introductory session
  • 9 x weekly two hour seminar

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 25%
Written assignment (inc essay) 75%

750 word article review (25%); 2,250 word assessed essay (75%).  

Recommended reading

  • Ronen Palan (ed) (2012) Global Political Economy: Contemporary Theories, second edition, London: Routledge.
  • Stuart Shields, Ian Bruff and Huw Macartney (eds) (2011) Critical International Political Economy: Dialogue, Debate, and Dissensus, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 130

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Franco Galdini Unit coordinator
Stuart Shields Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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