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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Adrian C. Sinkler
POL S 427
Seattle Campus

International Political Economy

Examines major theoretical problems, substantive issues, and schools of thought in international political economy (IPE), including issues of trade, production, and finance. Preparation for critical analysis of dilemmas entailed in establishing and maintaining an instrumentally effective and ethically acceptable IPE system.

Class description

In this course we will explore major theoretical debates in International Political Economy (IPE) as well as the historical changes in international trade and financial regimes that have expanded the movement of goods, capital and people across international borders during the last several decades—a phenomenon popularly known as “globalization.? In doing so, we will assess recent developments in substantive areas of IPE from each of three main theoretical perspectives in order to gain analytical insight on both the causes and consequences of economic and political globalization. Does a more open trade regime lead to more economic development in poor countries? Does increased foreign direct investment lead to higher wages and better working conditions, and if so, what role should the state play in regulating foreign investment and labor markets? Does economic and political globalization contribute to problems like global warming, or can it contribute to conservation by increasing global income levels and the monitoring of environmental problems? Upon finishing this course, students will be in a position to formulate answers to these questions and enter the policy and ethical debates that surround them.

Student learning goals

Improve the student's ability to analyze and interpret theoretical arguments about the causes of regime change, as well as economic development.

Improve the student's ability to construct her own arguments and support them with empirical evidence.

Improve student's understanding of international trade and financial systems.

General method of instruction

Lectures combined with in-class discussion.

Recommended preparation

A basic course in micro or macro economics is helpful, as is a course in international relations and/or comparative politics.

Class assignments and grading

Student grades will consist of two in-class exams, and a final analytical essay, all of which will all be graded on a 4.0 scale.


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.
Last Update by Adrian C. Sinkler
Date: 09/12/2012