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Core Course Global Political Economy


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA International Relations, track Global Political Economy, or track International Studies (for students of the February 2017 intake).


The world economy is vast, complex, and an infinitely fascinating subject of study. Global Political Economy, or GPE, is a multidisciplinary field of inquiry that seeks to understand and explain the nature, origins, and dynamics of the contemporary world economy. GPE addresses the development of the world economy and its dynamics across time and place, on a variety of scales, and across diverse geographical and organizational settings. This course develops a critical survey of global political economy. It begins with an evaluation of the world economy’s performance with respect to economic growth, human welfare, inequality, and ecological sustainability. It considers major theoretical approaches to the study of the world economy, with an emphasis on contemporary theoretical, policy, and normative debates. The course furnishes a concise account of the world economy’s historical development, including the emergence of “neoliberal globalization” and its profoundly consequential legacies. The course then examines the world economy across a variety of thematic focuses, including state transformation, global value chains, global inequality, social reproduction, social policy, (post) democracy, and environmental sustainability.

Course objectives

This course provides a rigorous, cutting-edge analysis of the contemporary world economy and different approaches to its study. Students who complete the course will appreciate the value and limitations of economics for understanding the world economy and the advantages of a political economy approach that foregrounds welfare, inequality, and environmental sustainability and is cognizant of the complex, contingent benefits and hazards of economic growth. The course aims to impart an understanding of how the serial rise and fall of hegemonic powers has shaped global institutions, economic growth, and capital accumulation on a world scale since the 15th century, an appreciation of local and regional dynamics in the world economy across time and place, and the world economy’s historical and contemporary dependence on unequal extensions of political rights and the devaluation of human lives and nature. Successful students will grasp the necessity of theoretical and analytical pluralism and demonstrate competence in examining key aspects of the world economy from a variety of intellectual, analytical, and geographical and social standpoints. In doing so, students will develop competence in the analysis of the world economy suitable to a variety of professional pursuits.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Weekly journals (short papers): 25 percent

  • Participation: 15 percent

  • Mid-term take home examination with essay questions: 20 percent

  • Final paper: 40 percent


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


The resit is only available to students whose mark of the final examined element, the research essay is insufficient.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list



Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.