Course code EDS379

EDS379 Global Political Economy

Norsk emneinformasjon

Search for other courses here

Showing course contents for the educational year 2017 - 2018 .

Course responsible: Paul Raymond Belesky
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Teaching exam periods:
Autumn parallel
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2013-2014
Preferential right:
Course contents:

The module is a graduate level elective course to International Relations (IR) theory.The Global Political Economy (GPE, also called international political economy) considers the dynamic interplay between politics and economics at a global scale and the relations of power that underpin the processes of production, distribution and consumption. It examines the complex interactions between economic and political phenomena across state borders and the interrelationships between states and non-state actors, markets and institutions in the global system, as well as the role of civil society actors and social movements. Pivotal issues in the contemporary global economy, such as trade, foreign direct investment, international finance and debt, globalisation and regionalisation, the role of transnational corporations, labour and migration, the financialisation and integration of food, feed and (bio)fuel markets, will be discussed as part of a historically contextualised exploration of power and global inequality.

Students will be introduced to the main theoretical approaches of GPE and will have opportunities to engage with key thinkers, central debates and controversies in the literature. Students will develop their critical analysis skills by reflecting on questions such as: What is the relationship between politics and economics and how can we understand the complex interactions between states, non-state actors and global markets? What structures and uneven relations of power underpin production, distribution and consumption of resources in global markets? Who benefits? Who gets what, why and how? What are the gendered dimensions to power and inequality in the global political economy? How are emerging powers such as China, India, Russia and Brazil, transforming the global political economy? How do civil society actors and social movements influence the global political economy? What are the possibilties for change? Students will have an opportunity to engage with a wide-range of interdisciplinary literature with an emphasis on conceptual, analytical and empirical texts.

Learning outcome:

In this course, the goal is that students should have the following learning outcomes: 

Knowledge and competence: 

  • The student is familiar with and able to distinguish key concepts and theories of Global Political Economy (liberal, economic nationalist and critical perspectives)
  • The student has acquired knowledge about the political dynamics of the global economy and can give an overview of key actors, governance institutions and processes of accumulation and distribution of wealth and resources
  • The student has experience with applying key theories in analysing case studies/empirical evidence 
  • The student has developed independent critical thinking skills and conceptual tools to analyse complex global political and economic challenges.

Written and oral skills: 

  • The student is able to formulate clear arguments that are supported with adequate evidence and logic in written and oral expression.
Learning activities:

The module spans the autumn parallel. It includes 12 lectures and 11 student driven seminars. Apart from the first lecture, every lecture will be preceded by a seminar session. In lecture sessions, the course convenor will provide an overview of this weeks topic, readings and discussions.

Student seminar

Each seminar assigned students will present the readings, followed by class discussion. The students are expected to collaborate on how to present the main argument(s) the readings.  

Teaching support:
Office hours and procedures will be explained at the first class meeting. A course schedule will be available in Canvas in due time. 

Supplementary reading list provided in course outline on Canvas.

Recommended preliminary reading:

Balaam, D. N., and Dillman, B. (2015). Introduction to International Political Economy. Routledge.

Borras, S., P. McMichael, and I. Scoones, eds. (2011). The Politics of Biofuels, Land and Agrarian Change. New York: Routledge.

Breslin, S. 2007. China and the Global Political Economy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fraser, N. (2013). Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History. Nancy Fraser (ed.) Fortunes of Feminism: From State-Managed Capitalism to Neoliberal Crisis. London and New York: Verso, pp209-226.

Helleiner, E .(2017). The evolution of the international monetary and financial system in J. Ravenhill (ed): Global Political Economy, (Fifth edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 199-225.

Major, Aaron . (2012). Neoliberalism and the new international financial architecture. Review of International Political Economy 19(4): 536-561.

McNally A. (2012). Sino-capitalism: Chinas (re)emergence and the international political economy. World Politics 64 (4): 74176.

Mzukisi, Q. and M. Soko. (2015). The rise of emerging powers in the global development finance architecture: the case of the BRICS and the New Development Bank. South African Journal of International Affairs 22 (3): 27788.

OBrien, R and M. Williams. (2016). Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics (5th edition). London: Palgrave Macmillan

Polanyi, K. (1944). The Great Transformation. Boston: Beacon Press.

Palat, R. (2010): World turned upside down? Rise of the global south and contemporary global financial turbulence Third World Quarterly 31(3):20.

Pauly, L (2017): The political economy of global financial crisis in Ravenhill, J (ed): Global Political Economy. (Fifth edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 225-353.

Phillips, Nicola. 2017. Power and inequality in the global political economy. International Affairs 93 (2): 429-444.

Ravenhill, J. (2017). The study of Global Political Economy in J. Ravenhill (ed): Global Political Economy, (Fifth edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp3-26.

Russi, L. (2013). Hungry Capital: the Financialization of Food. Washington: Zero Books.

Thun, E (2017) The globalization of production in J. Ravenhill (ed): Global Political Economy, (Fifth edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 174-197

Watson, M. (2017). Theoretical traditions in global political economy in J. Ravenhill (ed): Global Political Economy, (Fifth edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp26-52.

A relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:

Seminar presentation of assigned reading (pass/fail). Sign up at the first seminar. 

The student must attend a majority of lectures and participate in a majority of seminars and class exercises to be eligible for a grade.


Exam is divided in two:

Mid-term: Individual research essay (40%), 3000 words

End of term: Individual research essay (60%), 5000 words

Exam only in English.

Nominal workload:
300 hours
Type of course:
12 lectures and 11 seminars
Internal and external examiners will grade the course
Examination details: :