Global Political Economy: A Critical Introduction

Dr Michiel van Ingen

This course will examine the role of political and economic issues in international relations. Specifically, it will provide students with a critical introduction to the field of Global Political Economy (GPE) by examining the issues of: trade, production, governance, wealth/poverty/development, (in)security, and climate change. In doing so the course aims to balance an understanding of theoretical debates and global historical trajectories with discussions about various topical issues and case studies.

The first part of this course aims to: (1) introduce students to both classical (liberal and statist) and critical (feminist, post-colonial, and Marxian) theoretical approaches in the field of GPE, and (2) trace the historical origins of the contemporary ‘globalized’ political and economic order by introducing students to a range of discussions about the industrial revolution, imperialism, colonialism, and war. The remainder of the course will then: (1) draw on these historical and theoretical resources in order to critically discuss the aforementioned issues, and (2) connect these historical and theoretical themes to discussions about specific geographical locations in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, etc.

This course is aimed at: anyone wishing to develop a better understanding of contemporary global politics and economics; anyone wishing to develop a better understanding of the historical origins of the contemporary global political and economic order; anyone seeking to broaden and/or deepen their theoretical understanding of global politics and economics; anyone seeking to develop a more sophisticated understanding of global world politics and economics in order to support their degree or improve their career prospects.

Pre-Requisite Knowledge Required: No prior knowledge of global politics/international relations or economics will be assumed or required.

Transferable Knowledge and Skills: This course will allow students to: develop their understanding of global politics and economics, develop their critical thinking skills, and develop their ability to demonstrate this understanding and critical thinking by means of both spoken and written means.


Final Essay (2,500 – 3,000 words): 50%

Final Exam: 50%

Student Contact Time

Lectures: 12 x 75 minutes (total 15 hours)

Seminars: 8 x 75 minutes (total 10 hours)