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PPR.325: International Political Economy of Globalization

Tutor: Ngai-Ling Sum
Term: Michaelmas

Course Description

Globalization remains a buzzword in academic and policy discourses. It is often related to the acceleration of global communication as well as internationalization of the economic, political and social processes. This module addresses some of these changes especially those related to trade, production and investment in the international political economy. There are many approaches in understanding these changes, this module introduces students to both liberal and critical ones (e.g., neo-Gramscianism). Drawing from their insights, it investigates and analyzes the roles of state and non-state actors (e.g., transnational corporations and NGOs) in rebuilding the governance of global production and finance. Finally, it examines the rise of transnational justice movements in offering alternatives to globalization and its uneven development, before and after the financial crisis of 2007.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Describe and evaluate the different ways in which the 'economy' is defined and studied in international politics.
  • Identify and interpret a range of global processes that are reshaping international political economy.
  • Describe the rise of global economic actors (e.g., transnational corporations) and their impact as political agents in the international political economy.
  • Transfer these analytical skills to new phenonema (e.g., corporate social responsibility and global financial crisis).
  • Evaluate the uneven impact of these changes and locate counter-hegemonic politics in this context.


40% coursework and 60% exam.
Coursework: 1 essay of 3000 words. Exam: 2 hours.

Teaching Method

Lecture (1.5 hours) seminar (1 hour) weekly.

Introductory Reading

Appelbaum R and Robinson W Critical Globalization Studies

Howard D The Financial Crisis

Peet R Geography of Power

Rupert M and Solomon S Globalization and International Political Economy

Steger MB, Globalism: the New Market Ideology

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