Introduction to International Political Economy (L2024)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

Why are some countries poor and others rich? What are the origins of global environmental problems? Has free trade ever been free?

In this module, we explore the global history of capitalism, from the enclosure of the commons and the colonisation of the Americas to the rise of the welfare state and the neoliberal (counter)revolution. By foregrounding questions of race, class, gender, and empire, we examine the hierarchies and power relations that sustain the global economy.

You will be introduced to a variety of theoretical perspectives, including:

  • classical political economy
  • Marxism
  • postcolonial approaches
  • feminism
  • the black radical tradition
  • green theories.



100%: Lecture


100%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 20 hours of contact time and about 130 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: