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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5625M The Global Political Economy of Money, Debt and Finance

30 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Omar Al-Shehabi

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module provides students with a conceptual and empirical understanding of the politics of the modern global financial system. We start by discussing the concepts of money, debt, and capital. We then explore the modern history of the international monetary system, from the 19th century gold standard to the current fiat currency system under US dollar hegemony. The final part of the module looks at the politics of specific examples of global financial crises, including the Latin American 1980s debt crises, the 1997 Asian financial crisis, the 2007-2008 global financial crisis, as well as trends and tensions in the current moment. The module will look at the interaction between the global north and the global south, covering case studies from across the world. The emphasis is on the social and political relations and institutions that shape and are shaped by monetary and financial markets, including currencies, public and private debt, international economic rivalries, imperial domination, and financial crises.


This module aims to explore the politics of the global monetary system. The goal is to look at the political relations of the monetary system at a global level as well as its diverse constituent parts, in order to understand the key role it plays in modern states and societies. What are the relationship between money, debt, and capital in the contemporary era, and how have they manifested themselves on a global level? How was the modern monetary system formed, and what historical processes led to its emergence? Who are the main actors that create and uphold it, who gains the most, who loses, and are there alternatives? What are the different layers to the relationships between the global north and the global south within the system? Why have crises emerged in the system, and how have they been responded to by the different actors?

Students will engage with different perspectives at the conceptual and empirical level to explore the relationships between the actors in the system, including the private sector, central banks, states, and international governing institutions in different contexts and historical junctures.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate understanding of the political and institutional relations of the global financial system and the role they play in modern states and societies.
2. Situate global financial relations within the context of broader economic, geopolitical, and social forces.
3. Identify, explain and discuss different historical phases of the global monetary system.
4. Explore a range of primary and secondary literature, as well as the debates surrounding the global monetary system.
5. Critique mainstream discourses of money and capital, and provide nuanced and evidence-based accounts of the causes and consequences of global financial relations.

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate analytic and research skills that enable students to produce complex and well argued studies on particular strands of the global financial system.
2. Plan and develop an independent piece of written research.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours267.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided on a mid-term piece of writing (1x1500 words submitted in week 7). This feedback will inform the production of the summative assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
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: 15/02/2024


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