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Unit information: International Political Economy in 2021/22

Unit name International Political Economy
Unit code POLIM3015
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Appleton
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit deals with the interaction between international politics and the world economy that is the core concern of International Political Economy (IPE). It begins by examining a variety of theoretical approaches to IPE. Students are given an opportunity to use them as conceptual tools with which to articulate a critical treatment of the architecture of the changing economic order. In particular the trend toward regionalisation and globalisation of the already existing international system is considered alongside its implications for the changing international order. This unit also highlights the current dilemma faced by the so-called LDCs (Less Developed Countries). Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the abandonment of non-market orientated growth strategies, much of the post-colonial world is now adopting free market, liberalisation strategies, yet there remains significant evidence to suggest that LDCs have yet to reap the benefits held out to them by institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. This unit is only available to students registered for MSc/Diploma degrees in the Department of Politics. Please note that the Department does not permit the auditing of any of its units.

This unit aims to:

  • To become familiar with issues that arise from the interaction of international economic and political structures
  • To provide an introduction to several conceptual approaches to international political economy
  • To assess the significance of recent changes in the global economy
  • To facilitate a critical treatment of leading issues in international political economy.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit the student should have:

  1. An understanding of the basis on which organisations, companies and national states interact with international markets
  2. An ability to offer a conceptually coherent critique of normative arguments for re–structuring and governing the international economy
  3. Knowledge of some of the contemporary history of changes in the international economy
  4. An ability to integrate empirical evidence into conceptually grounded arguments

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

10% participation 25% presentation 65% 2500 word essay


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLIM3015).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.