BASS Social Anthropology and Philosophy / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Introduction to International Political Economy

Course unit fact file
Unit code POLI30721
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The course explores the following core topics: 'orthodox' and 'critical' IPE. 

Marxist approaches to IPE. 

'US' vs the 'British' school debate. 

Robert Cox and neo-Gramscian approaches. 

Post-structuralist IPE and the production of neoliberal economic 'knowledge'.

Gender, social (re)production and sexuality in the global economy.  


The main aim of this course is to introduce students to the academic study of international political economy (IPE). Principal aims include:
- canvassing leading theoretical approaches to IPE;
- examining the historical development of the global political economy;
- outlining the main structural features of the global political economy;
- and exploring selected current developments.

Learning outcomes

Objectives (Learning Outcomes)
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:
1. demonstrate a working knowledge of the disciplinary history of IPE and its leading theoretical approaches
2. display an awareness of the historical development of the global political economy
3. identify the main structural features of the global political economy and explain how they are changing
4. assess the significance for the global political economy of selected contemporary developments.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will take place by means of weekly lectures and seminars. Required readings are set out for each week, and students should complete their learning portfolio before the seminar and come to seminars prepared to discuss them. Students will be expected to take part in: group exercises such as problem centred learning, simulations and group discussion where applicable.  

Assessment will be both formative and summative. Formative assessment will be provided in terms of informal discussion between the tutor and students, and between students  themselves about how their performance in tutorials indicates progress in learning. Summative assessment will be in the form of an essay and a course learning portfolio. Students will be expected to demonstrate depth of knowledge and  
understanding of the major themes covered on the course. The essay will provide students  
with an opportunity to study a relevant area in greater detail and will develop analytical


Assessment methods

Essay 2000 words 50% 

Portfolio 2000 words 50% 

Feedback methods

Politics staff will provide feedback on written work within 15 working days of submission.

Students should be aware that all marks are provisional until confirmed by the external examiner and the final examinations boards in June.

For modules that do not have examination components the marks and feedback for the final assessed component are not subject to the 15 working day rule and will be released with the examination results.

You will receive feedback on assessed essays in a standard format. This will rate your essay in terms of various aspects of the argument that you have presented your use of sources and the quality of the style and presentation of the essay. If you have any queries about the feedback that you have received you should make an appointment to see your tutor.

On assessments submitted through Turnitin you will receive feedback via Blackboard. This will include suggestions about ways in which you could improve your work in future. You will also receive feedback on non-assessed coursework, whether this is individual or group work. This may be of a more informal kind and may include feedback from peers as well as academic staff

Recommended reading

- Stephen Gill and David Law. The Global Political Economy: Perspectives, Problems and Policies, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988.  

- Susan Strange. States and Markets. London: Pinter, 1988.  

- Ronen Palan (ed) Global Political Economy. Contemporary Theories, London, Routledge,  

- Richard Stubbs and Geoffrey Underhill (eds) (1994, 2000, 2006) Political Economy and  
the Changing Global Order, Ontario: Oxford University Press (1st, 2nd & 3rd editions).  

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Perla Polanco Leal Unit coordinator
Franco Galdini Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Open to all students.


Length of course: 12 weeks


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