PO3IPE-International Political Economy

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Tim Vlandas

Email: t.r.g.vlandas@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
«p»The course is an introduction to International and Comparative Political Economy (IPE and CPE, respectively), which focuses on the interaction between states and markets at the domestic and international levels. It covers the major theoretical approaches to IPE and CPE and applies them to study international trade, globalisation, the crisis, capitalism, inflation and growth regimes. It also considers the relation between globalisation and the welfare state as well as capitalism.«/p»


  1. To introduce students to the major competing approaches to IPE and CPE;

  2. To give students a grounding in debates on the international and domestic economy;

  3. To provide students with a good theoretical and empirical understanding of the interaction between political and economic factors;

  4. To foster a critical and informed awareness of the academic literature in IPE as well as CPE and to demonstrate this in essays, class presentations and examinations;

  5. To provide a foundation for further study in the field or for careers that require a good knowledge of the interaction between politics and economics.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students will acquire, and display:
•a knowledge and understanding of the wide-ranging and profound impact of international politics upon the international economy and of the international economy upon international politics.
•an ability to demonstrate the analytical skills necessary for the further study of this complex realm of activity.
Students will also be able to:
•present material to their peers and debate various issues in class

Additional outcomes:
The module promotes independent study; together with teamwork and the ability to communicate orally in a group context.

Outline content:

Note that content is indicative and may be subject to change.

The first session introduces IPE and CPE, while the second session presents an overview of international economic history. The third session then considers the three main approaches to the study of IPE: Liberalism, Mercantilism and Marxism. Next, the fourth section focuses on the determinants of trade protectionism. In the fifth session, we examine the impact of globalisation on national policy making. The sixth session introduces student to the Varieties of Capitalism approach. In sessions 7 and 8 the political economy determinants of inflation and the politics of growth are considered, while session 9 explores the political economy of the crisis. We finish the term with a revision session.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There are 10 weekly lectures and 10 weekly seminars, based upon student preparation, and discussion of presentations on topic-related questions. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 140 40
Total hours by term 160.00 40.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 40
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write one 3000 word essay on selected topics. Non-submitted essays will be awarded a mark of zero.

Visiting students will follow the same assessments but only those enrolled for the summer term will sit the examination. Those visiting students who are here for Autumn term only but wish to gain full credits will write two 3000 word essays in total. The second one to be submitted by the first day of the Spring term. Visiting students who are only studying for half credits will submit one 3000 word essay.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One three-hour examination.

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Candidates who fail their final year normally have the right to be re-examined on one further occasion at the next opportunity. These candidates will not normally be eligible for Honours (ie., only a ‘Pass’ classification would be attainable). Students who are eligible for re-assessment have the right to re-assessment in all elements (coursework and re-examination) even if they have previously passed one of those elements. It is expected, however, that the majority of students would probably elect not to repeat an element in which they had already passed, in which case the confirmed marks would be carried forward.

    Examination: Re-examination takes place in August/September of the same year.

    Coursework: Failed or missing coursework should be re-submitted by 1st August, emailed directly to politics@reading.ac.uk, AND submitted on Blackboard.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: The core book for this module is Thomas Oatley 2012. International Policitcal Economy (fifth edition). Longman, Pearson (RRP £44.99 but Blackwell branch on campus offers it at the discounted rate of £38.99).
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding: There may be optional costs associated with photocopying or printing sources listed on the reading list relating to this module. Please note that the Library charges approximately 5p per photocopy.
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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