International political economy

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Prof. Shareen Hertel

This course offers introductory exposure to issues in international political economy. It focuses on core themes in scholarly literature and related current policy dilemmas, with particular emphasis on development economics, trade and labor rights questions.
Requirements: 1) a midterm exam, worth 30% of the final grade; 2) a final exam, worth 60% of the final grade; and 3) class participation, worth 10% of the final grade.
To gain the most from this course, students are strongly advised to: 1) form a study group (3-5 students, maximum) that meets at least once/week to discuss the week’s readings and lecture notes; 2) read The New York Times, The Financial Times, and/or The Economist on a regular basis (student rates available); 3) read informational emails and access weblinks sent by the instructor to the class on a weekly basis.
Please note: While there are not specific pre-requisites, students with a solid grounding in theories of international relations and basic macroeconomics will find this course more accessible than those without such background. A useful introductory macroeconomics text will be on reserve: Rudiger Dornbusch and F. Leslie C.H. Helmers, The Open Economy: Tools for Policymakers in Developing Countries (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988)
Week 1

The intellectual foundations of IPE: basic concepts and measurement issues

Handouts: Human Development Index vs. PPP vs. GNP/GDP

Week 2

The intellectual foundations of IPE: key actors and institutions

Robert Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

Jeffrey A. Frieden and David A. Lake, editors, International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth, 3rd edition (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995), Introduction (pp. 1-16).

Stephan Haggard and Robert R. Kaufman, The Politics of Economic Adjustment (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992), Introduction (pp. 3-37) and Conclusion (pp. 319-350).

Week 3:

Monetary Policy: trends and challenges

John Ruggie, “International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order,” International Organization 36, No. 2 (Spring 1982): 379-415. Available electronically via JSTOR.

Benjamin J. Cohen, The Geography of Money (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), Intro and Chapters 2 and 6.

Michael Webb, “International economic structures, government interests, and international coordination of macroeconomic adjustment policies,” International Organization 45, No. 3 (Summer 1991): 309-342. Available electronically via JSTOR.

Week 4:

Trade Policy: trends and challenges

Robert Baldwin, “The New Protectionism: A Response to Shifts in National Economic Power,” in Frieden and Lake (Chapter 21).

Robert Z. Lawrence, “Emerging Regional Arrangements: Buildings Blocks or Stumbling Blocks?” in Frieden and Lake (Chapter 25).

Robert B. Zoellick, Remarks by Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, United States Trade Representative (Washington, DC: Office of the US Trade Representative, 2001). Read selected speeches: “Trade and the American Nation: A Time to Choose” (pp. 33-41); “Globalization at Ground Zero: Dispelling the Myths of NAFTA” (p. 43-53); “The WTO and New Global Trade Negotiations: What’s at Stake” (p. 99-114).

Oxfam, Rigged Rules and Double Standards: Trade, Globalization and the Fight Against Poverty (London, UK: Oxfam International, 2002), Executive Summary, Intro, and Chapter 4.
Week 5:

Industrial development policy

James Brander, “Rationales for Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy,” and Gene Grossman, “Strategic Export Promotion: A Critique” -- both in Paul Krugman, editor, Strategic Trade Policy and the New International Economics (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987).

Peter Evans, Embedded Autonomy: States & Industrial Transformation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), Chapters 1, 3 and 10.

Sylvia Maxfield and Ben Ross Schneider, Business and the State in Developing Countries (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997), Chapters 1 and 2.

Week 6:

Roots of contemporary inequality and wealth: the colonial experience, decolonization and early independence

Alexander Gerschenkron, Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1962), Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

Fernando Enrique Cardoso and Enzo Faletto, Dependency and Development in Latin America (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1979) – chapters?
Robin Broad, editor, Global Backlash: Citizen Initiatives for a Just World Economy (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), Part II, “The Historical Context,” pp. 65-112.

Stanley L. Engerman and Kenneth L. Sokoloff, "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development among New World Economies," Working Paper 9259 (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, October 2002).

Week 7: Gender and economic development

Chiara Saraceno, “Women’s Paid & Unpaid Work in Times of Economic Crisis,” in Lourdes Beneria and Shelley Feldman, editors, Unequal Burden: Economic Crises, Persistent Poverty, and Women’s Work (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992).

Rounaq Jahan, The Elusive Agenda: Mainstreaming Women in Development (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books, 1995), Chapter 1.

Deepa Narayan, Robert Chambers, Meera K. Shah and Patti Petesch, Voices of the Poor: Crying Out for Change (Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2000), Chapter 6.

Pamela Sparr, editor, Mortgaging Women’s Lives: Feminist Critiques of Structural Adjustment (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Zed Books, 1994), chapter 2.
Week 9:

Contemporary dilemmas: the challenge of managing global financial flows

Miles Khaler, editor, Capital Flows and Financial Crises (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998), Chapters 1, 3, and 5.

Barry Eichengreen, Toward a New Financial Architecture: A Practical Post-Asia Agenda (Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 1999) and review thereof by Natasha Parriag, E-merge: A Graduate Journal of International Affairs 1 (January 2000), available electronically via

Allan H. Meltzer, “A Report of the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission: Comments on the Critics” in C. Gilbert, J. Rollo, and D. Vines, editors, Reforming the Architecture of Global Financial Institutions (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001). Available electronically via:

Week 10:

Contemporary dilemmas: securing labor rights in the global economy

International Labour Organzation, “Decent Work,” report of the Director-General to the International Labour Conference, 87th Session 1999 (Geneva: ILO, 1999).

Virginia Leary, “Globalization and Human Rights,” in Symonides, Janusz. Human Rights: New Dimensions and Challenges (Brookfield, MA: Ashgate, 1998): 265-279.

Gerard Griffin, Gerard, Chris Nyland and Anne O’Rourke, “Trade Unions and the Social Clause: A North-South Union Divide?” Working Paper No. 81 Melbourne, Australia: National Key Centre in Industrial Relations, Monash University, December 2002.

Kimberly Ann Elliott, “Getting Beyond No…! Promoting Worker Rights and Trade,” in Schott, Jeffrey J., ed. The WTO After Seattle (Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 2000): 187-204.

Week 11:

Contemporary dilemmas: overseas development assistance – conditionality, effectiveness and accountability

Craig Burnside and David Dollar, “Aid, Policies and Growth, The American Economic Review 90, Issue 4 (September 2000): 847-869. Available electronically via PROQUEST.

William Easterly, Ross Levine, and David Roodman, “New Data, New Doubts: Revisiting ‘Aid, Policies, and Growth’” (a response to Burnside and Dollar), Working Paper 26, Center for Global Development, revised June 2003 – forthcoming in The American Economic Review, 2003. Available electronically via:

Deepa Narayan, Robert Chambers, Meera K. Shah and Patti Petesch, Voices of the Poor: Crying Out for Change (Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2000), Chapters 10 and 12; and Deepa Narayan and Patti Petesch, Voices of the Poor: From Many Lands (Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2002), Conclusion, especially pages 471-493. All available electronically via:

Graham Hancock, Lords of Poverty: The Power, Prestige and Corruption of the International Aid Business (New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989), Preface through page 33.
Weeks 12 and 13 (i.e., one session pre-Thanksgiving and two post)

Making sense of globalization: historical perspectives, contemporary definitions and measurement

Suzanne Berger and Ronald Dore, editors, National Diversity and Global Capitalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996), chapters.1, 2, 10.

Robert Boyer and Daniel Drache, States Against Markets: the limits of globalization (London, UK: Routledge, 1996), Chapters, 7,8, and 9.

Joseph Stiglitz, Globalization and Its Discontents (New York: WW Norton & Company, 2002), Chapter 3.

Making sense of globalization: varied responses

Dani Rodrik, Has Globalization Gone too Far? (Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics, 1997).

“Lori’s War,” interview by Moises Naim with Lori Wallach (Public Citizen), Foreign Policy, Spring 2000: 29-55. Available electronically via PROQUEST.

Jagdish Bhagwati, “What Really Happened in Seattle,” abbreviated version of essay published in The Financial Times, 21 December 1999, under the title “An Unjustified Sense of Victory.” Available electronically via:

Kimberly Elliott, Debyani Kar, and David J. Richardson. “Assessing Globalization’s Critics: ‘Talkers Are No Good Doers???” Working Paper 2-5, 2002 (Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics). Available electronically via:

Policy dilemmas: Economic sanctions – a case study

David A. Baldwin, Economic Statecraft (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985), Chapters 1 and 3.

Richard N. Haass, editor, Economic Sanctions and American Diplomacy (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1998), Chapter 1, 5 (on Iraq).

David Rieff, “Were Sanctions Right?” The New York Times Magazine, 27 July 2003, pp. 41-46.

Please access the website of The Council on Foreign Relations:

Review materials on the Iraq war (2003), particularly sections on “Iraq and the UN” pertaining to sanctions. Come to class prepared to discuss the case for and against economic sanctions from a political economy perspective.

Week 14:


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