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POL8005 : Theories and Theorists of International Political Economy

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matt Davies
  • 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


1.       To provide students with an advanced understanding of the origins, development, and problematics of the contemporary field of international political economy.
2.       To provide learning and teaching environments that enable students to reflect upon their individual study and discuss their ideas and questions in a group context.
3.       To introduce the field of IPE, its key theories and theorists.
4.       To assess critically the contributions made by a range of theorists to the development of IPE.
5.       To explore and discuss the key debates that have characterised contemporary IPE.

This is a compulsory course for students in the MA in International Political Economy course and an optional model for other MA students in Politics. It provides a broad overview of some of the crucial debates in the field of International Political Economy through readings of the work of some of the most prominent leading figures in the field and of some of the most important social, political, and political economic thinkers who have inspired these debates.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered are likely to vary from year to year, depending on events. The following outline should indicate a framework for these topics.

Introduction to political economy.
The neo-neo debates: power and hegemony in IPE
Institutionalism and constructivism in IPE.
Dependency and world-systems theory.
Susan Strange and structural power.
Neoliberalism and new constitutionalism: Hayek, Buchanan and their critics.
Karl Polanyi and the critique of market societies.
Antonio Gramsci and 'neogramscian' IPE.
Historical materialism: contemporary Marxist critique.
Gender and feminist critique.
New directions in IPE: poststructuralism and beyond.
Financialisation and austerity
Global inequalities
Social reproduction
Global production chains
Climate change and IPE
Race, colonialism, and anti-colonialism

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00In-person seminar meetings to discuss readings and other materials.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1178:00178:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Rationale and relationship to learning outcomes: The 2-hour weekly seminar will involve a combination of a presentation by the module leader and discussion based around presentations by students. The themes of the seminars will relate to the theoretical, methodological and substantive issues outlined in the module aims. The seminar-based teaching and learning methods will enable students to develop employment-related skills such as interpersonal communication, oral presentation, teamwork, planning and organising, information literacy and problem solving.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M1004,000 word research paper
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In writing their research paper, students will be expected to show an ability to collate and evaluate theoretical and empirical material. A chronological or descriptive narrative will not be deemed sufficient to pass this module.

Reading Lists