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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Colin Danby
BIS 324
Bothell Campus

International Political Economy

The study of interrelations between international politics and economics. Addresses the Bretton Woods institutions, differing political conceptions of international economic relations, trade, trade restrictions, trade agreements, global financial flows, migration, and exchange rates. Methods emphasize institutional analysis, historical analysis, accounting frameworks, and formal economic models.

Class description

Should you lament or celebrate the U.S trade deficit? Welcome or deplore the World Trade Organization? What does it mean to say that we live in a "global economy?" This course will provide the tools to answer these questions and the basis for further study of international issues. You will learn key concepts that will help you make sense of the international economy, gain an understanding of different theoretical perspectives, and see why policymakers and experts disagree. Finally, you will get a good sense the major institutions that shape the international economy.

For more information see the syllabus, accessible via

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

We will use short lectures, handouts, exercises, and small-group work on problems to make sure that everyone masters fundamental concepts like comparative advantage and the balance of payments. We will use readings, films, discussions, and case studies to understand and critique different perspectives on such issues as protectionism, capital controls, the role of transnational corporations, and the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Exams will include definitions, problems, and short essays.

Most importantly, you will learn by doing your own research. Each participant will choose a country and carry out a series of research tasks on that country over the quarter, producing research memoranda and a final short analytical memo. This will give you experience working with real-world data and applying the ideas learned in the course. You will leave the course not just with theoretical knowledge, but with practice in investigating specific questions related to the international economy, and in communicating the results of your work.

Recommended preparation

No particular prior preparation is assumed. You will need basic quantitative skills, as we will make extensive use of graphs and numerical data.

Class assignments and grading

See syllabus on website.

In the most recent version of this course: -- Completing reading questions and worksheets: 10% -- Participation: 10% -- Three exams: 45% (15% each) -- Research Memos: 35% (First two, 10% each; third, 15%)

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Colin Danby
Date: 04/18/2003