World Politics and International Political Economy
This course will introduce students to the broad questions motivating the academic field of international political economy: Whose interests are served by the liberalization of trade and finance? What impact can multilateral organizations like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization have on the economic policies of member states and the functioning of the global economy? What determines the policies or rules promoted by these organizations? What motivates foreign aid policies? What is “globalization”? How can we assess its impacts on different countries and populations?
The course is designed to: (1) provide a general introduction to central issues treated by IPE, (2) survey existing interpretations of social, political and economic developments in the world with a focus on Russia’s interests and participation, and (3) examine these developments within the framework of the contemporary literature in international political economy.
Students will be required to understand and analyze the academic literature, and then apply academic insights to some of the most pressing policy debates. Should government offset the welfare costs of globalization and if so, how? Which priorities should be protected despite free trade liberalization? Is free trade fair trade? How should the World Bank and IMF be reformed to meet the needs of the international political economy in the 21st century? How should the international community address the current financial crisis? How should the international community address the current food crisis? What is the appropriate balance between government regulation and market freedom?