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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5527M Theories and Concepts in Global Political Economy

30 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Charlie Dannreuther

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module begins with an overview of the main challenges and crises that we face in the global political economy today: climate change and pollution, global health insecurities, inequality and poverty, and the status of the liberal international order and multilateralism. Students will examine the scale and nature of these challenges and question how we got to this juncture, as well as signal the possibilities for transformations. The module then develops an understanding of how different theoretical and historical approaches in GPE have explained the dynamics of the global political economy, as well as how they frame and approach present global challenges.In the final stage of the module students will examine GPE from Southern and alternate perspectives and voices that are emerging as powerful critiques of disciplinary orientations. Beyond the American and Anglo-centric and European traditions, there have been alternative voices and critiques, concepts and theories emerging from other regions of the world. Embedded in how we teach and what we read, students will also be exposed to socio-economic and socio-cultural approaches like Feminism and Post-Colonial IPE;


On completion of this module students will be able to understand the key approaches and theories of Global Political Economy. They will look a key constitutive elements and characteristics of the political dimensions of the world economy. What do they identify as key drivers and characteristics of change and crises in the system? What do they say about key actors and their role in (re-)producing the system? Further, do these theories limit the possibilities of changing our world, are they useful, and what are the other perspectives and alternative critical knowledges? This course takes students through the main approaches to GPE, including liberalism, liberal institutionalism, Realism and economic nationalism, and through to Marxist, post-structuralist and critical IPE, including theories of corporate power.
In addition, students will engage with other disciplinary approaches to GPE, including those emerging from geography, economic history, science and technology studies, and sociology and anthropology. The course includes debates about the historical formation of the world economy, the transitions from colonialism to imperialism, the main actors, states and classes The semester concludes by unpacking different understandings of the historical expansion of capitalism in the world economy and what its key characteristics, changes and impacts have been in different contexts and historical junctures.

Learning outcomes
1 The history and theories of capitalism and mainstream Global Political Economy approaches
2 Key concepts, debates and disciplinary perspectives surrounding Global Political Economy.
3 Contemporary theories of the political economy of violence, hegemony, development, work, place and bodies, inequality, neoliberalism, gender and race.
4 How GPE analysis, methods and theories help us explain present global challenges and crises: climate change, inequalities, and food and health insecurities.
5 Southern perspectives on GPE, decolonisation, and regional political economy from LMICs.


• Global Challenges and Crises and How did we Get Here?
• History and Capitalism: The Development of the World System: Colonialism, Violence and Extraction
• History and Capitalism: US Hegemony and Globalisation of the North and South.
• Realism to Neomercantilism.
• Liberalism/Neoliberalism and the Rise of Global Markets and Neoliberal Capitalism.
• Marxism/Neo-Gramscians, Historical Sociology/Institutionalism & Feminist PE.
• Decolonising the Canon - Theory and Practice.
• New Critiques and Agendas.
• The Body, Race, Class and the Environment.
• Place and GPE: the Political Economies of Place: Households, Communities and Regions.
• Uncertain times: Challenges, Resistances and Transformation

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to prepare for seminars by reading the material listed in the module handbook. This requires students to read widely, carefully reflect on the relevant arguments and ideas, take notes and summarise texts in preparation for seminar discussions. Students are also expected to engage in independent research when preparing their essays. Students will have a list of required reading and supplementary reading for each week, as well as a list of key discussion questions for each seminar.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A non assessed Formative 1 X 1000 Lit Review in prep for final assignment

Student progress will be monitored formally through assignments as well as informally through their contribution to the weekly seminar discussions. Students will also have opportunities to discuss their progress individually outside class hours through office hours. Blog post

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1 x 1200 Issue Report (Mid Term)20.00
Essay1 x 4000 Essay (End of Term)80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/06/2022 16:42:24


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