Module Catalogue 2024/25

POL2035 : Power and Poverty in the Global Economy

POL2035 : Power and Poverty in the Global Economy

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Burak Tansel
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The module aims to:
- Introduce students to the study of International Political Economy (IPE), and equip them with theoretical and methodological knowledge derived from the IPE literature to study key issues and developments in the global economy.
- Interrogate the ways in which globalisation has restructured the politics of production, trade and finance.
- Explore how the governance of global capitalism affects the politics of climate breakdown, inequality and poverty.
- Examine the role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs), states and social movements in designing and contesting development policies across the global South and North.

The module introduces students to a broadly defined political economy approach to study the politics of issues and developments that are often understood in exclusively ‘economic’ terms. By historicising the key components of global capitalism (e.g., production, trade and finance), the module aims to help students explore how the very processes that govern their own lives are embroidered in the fabric of the global economy, and how a wide range of actors—from states to ordinary people—shape and contest those processes on a regular basis. Students will be engaging not only with the IPE literature, but with a broad selection of political economy texts drawn from cognate disciplines such as Sociology and Geography.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will involve 11 x 1 hour lectures and 11 x 1 hour pre-recorded lectures; with a 1 hour seminar accompanying each weekly theme. Themes may include:

1. Introduction: International Political Economy–What’s in a Name?
2. Theory and Method in IPE
3. The Making and Remaking of the Global Economy
4. Social Forces, Gender and Race in the Global Economy
5. Production
6. Trade
7. Inequality & Poverty
8. Crisis
9. Climate Breakdown
10. The Global South
11. Conclusion: Towards a Post-Pandemic International Political Economy

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to articulate key knowledge regarding:
- The development of global capitalism and the specific ways in which globalisation has transformed production and trade.
- The ways in which social forces, socio-economic markers and identities operate in the global economy, and how the discipline of IPE conceptualise them.
- The structural drivers of climate breakdown and vectors of inequality (e.g. income and wealth).
- The uneven relationship between the global South and global North in the governance of global capitalism.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Upon completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate the following key skills:
- Ability to identify and deploy key political economy theories and concepts to examine contemporary issues in the global economy.
- Ability to confidently articulate arguments both for and against the intensification of free trade arrangements between countries of the Global North and the Global South
- Ability to interrogate the role of the International Financial Institutions and key actors within the global governance of production and trade in both oral debates and within written assessments
- Ability to work effectively with their peers in collaborative discussions surrounding the efficacy of neoliberal globalisation for poverty reduction and development within the Global South
- Ability to understand and critically engage key literature within the study of global political economy, including relevant scholarly monographs and articles; as well as primary literature from donor institutions and civil society.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Pre-recorded Lecture Materials and Assessment Advice
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00PiP Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00PIP Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The 11 x 1 hour lectures and the complementary 11 x 1 hour pre-recorded lectures will enable students to gain an in-depth knowledge of complex processes within the global economy, and to be able to understand historical trajectories in the construction of global capitalism. The 11 x 1 hour small group teaching will enable students to consolidate the knowledge gained from lectures and from independent study, and to practice their oral debating skills in the discussion of key controversies associated with North-South power relationships in the globalised economy. The lectures and the small group activities combined will prepare students to complete the summative assignments and to obtain the full Learning Objectives associated with the module, and to demonstrate attainment also of key skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M25Critical review of a journal article – students will be offered a selection of relevant articles from which they choose 1 to review.
Essay1M75Students will be given a list of essay questions relevant to the weekly topics covered in the module; 1 Question at 2500 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The critical review of a journal article will enable students to demonstrate their attainment of key Learning Objectives associated with knowledge and understanding of the IPE literature; and key contemporary issues around the politics of production, trade, crisis, climate breakdown and inequality (Length: 1,000 words).

The research essay assessment will allow students to express their ideas and perspectives, with engagement with relevant scholarly literature and primary sources, to interrogate controversies associated with the governance of global capitalism and its core components (e.g., production, trade, finance) (Length: 2,500 words).


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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