International Political Economy

Course Code :2200PSWIPE
Study domain:Political Sciences
Academic year:2017-2018
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Dirk De Bièvre

3. Course contents *

This course will introduce you to some of the most important insights in International Political Economy (IPE), a sub-discipline of political science that looks into the question ‘Who wins, who loses?’ in international economic decision making. Some of the issues we will deal with are the role of states and interest groups in international financial crises, in the conclusion of trade agreements, like those concluded by the European Union, the diverging paths of industrialized and developing countries, or the evolution of the Euro-crisis.

You will be expected to present and critically review at least one of the weekly assigned readings. The evaluation in January will consist of an oral exam with 2 questions on the sessions. The third question will consist of a critical reflection on a book of your choice taken.

You will buy and read the following book from cover to cover: Oatley, Thomas (2012), International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy, 5th edition, New York: Pearson Longman. Available at the Acco bookshop.

All the other sources will be either available electronically on the UA-library website as they are academic journal articles, or they will available under ‘study material’ on the course Blackboard site, when they are book chapters.



Overview of the sessions


  1. Course overview, distribution of presentations / What is IPE, or what can it be?
    • Oatley (2014), Ch. 1
    • Ravenhill (2014), Ch. 1


  1. Trade and Coalitions
    • The factoral approach: Rogowski (1989), Ch. 1 & 2
    • The sectoral approach: Hiscox (2001)

Optional readings: Labor & protectionist sentiment: Owen (2015), Industry-level lobbying: Grier et al. (1994)

  1. Do interest groups or does the state run trade policy?
    • A society- vs. state-centered approach to trade politics: Oatley (2012), Ch. 4-5
    • Protection for exporters: Dür (2010), Intro & Ch. 1

Optional readings: Internationalization of production and freer trade lobbying: Milner (1987), Vertical integration & preferential trade agreements (PTAs): Manger (2012)

  1. Judicialization and the WTO
  • Enforcement may inhibit cooperation: Goldstein and Martin (2000)
  • Well, it depends: Poletti and De Bièvre (2016), pp. 1-97.

Optional readings: Judicialization matters: Zangl (2008), Institutions & trade cooperation: Kono (2007), Who benefits from WTO litigation: Bechtel and Sattler (2015)

  1. Multinational firms and Global Supply Chains
  • Background reading: Oatley, Ch. 8 & 9
  • Import-dependent firm lobbying & European Union PTAs: Eckhardt and Poletti (2015)
  • Who pushes for, and who wins with PTAs: Baccini et al. (forthcoming 2017)

Optional readings: Did institutions or GVCs keep trade open after the crisis?: Gawande et al. (2011), Collective action and public and private goods: Gilligan (1997)


  1. The Unholy Trinity and Monetary Politics
    • Society- versus state-centered approaches: Oatley (2012), Ch. 12 & 13
    • The Unholy Trinity: Cohen (2002)
  2. Commitment and Institutions
    • Parliament, property rights, and capital markets: North and Weingast (1989)
    • The origins of central banks: Broz (1998)

Optional readings: another classic on institutions and markets: Milgrom et al. (1990)

  1. Developing countries and financial crises
    • Latin-American ISI and the 80s debt crisis: Oatley (2012), Ch. 6, 7, 14
    • The Asian financial crisis: Oatley (2012), Ch. 15
  2. The creation and crisis of the Euro
    • Origins: Wolf and Zangl (1996)
    • Europe after the crisis: Moravcsik (2012)
  3. The Euro-zone and the dollar-zone compared in historical perspective
    • European Crisis, European solution: Jones (2012)
    • The difficult creation of the US dollar-zone: Frieden (2016)

Guest lecture

  1. EU trade policy

by Fredrik Erixon, Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), a leading Brussels-based think tank


BACCINI, L., PINTO, P. M. & WEYMOUTH, S. forthcoming 2017. The Distributional Consequences of Preferential Trade Liberalization:  Firm-Level Evidence. International Organization.

BECHTEL, M. M. & SATTLER, T. 2015. What Is Litigation in the World Trade Organization Worth? International Organization, 69, 375-403.

BROZ, L. J. 1998. The Origins of Central Banking: Solutions to the Free-Rider Problem. International Organization, 52, 231-268.

COHEN, B. J. 2002. The Triad and the Unholy Trinity: Problems of International Monetary Cooperation. In: FRIEDEN, J. & LAKE, D. A. (eds.) International Political Economy. 4th ed. London: Routledge.

DÜR, A. 2010. Protection for Exporters. Power and Discrimination in Transatlantic Trade Relations, 1930 - 2010, Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press.

ECKHARDT, J. & POLETTI, A. 2015. The politics of global value chains: import-dependent firms and EU–Asia trade agreements. Journal of European Public Policy, 1-20.

FRIEDEN, J. 2016. Lessons for the euro from early American monetary and financial history, Brussels, Bruegel.

GAWANDE, K., HOEKMAN, B. & CUI, Y. 2011. Determinants of trade policy responses to the 2008 financial crisis. Policy Research working paper no. WPS 5862, Washington, DC, World Bank.

GILLIGAN, M. J. 1997. Lobbying as a private good with intra-industry trade. International Studies Quarterly, 41, 455-474.

GOLDSTEIN, J. L. & MARTIN, L. L. 2000. Legalization, Trade Liberalization, and Domestic Politics: A Cautionary Note. International Organization, 54, 603-632.

GRIER, K. B., MUNGER, M. C. & ROBERTS, B. E. 1994. The Determinants of Industry Political Activity, 1978-1986. The American Political Science Review, 88, 911-926.

HISCOX, M. J. 2001. Class Versus Industry Cleavages: Inter-Industry Factor Mobility and the Politics of Trade. International Organization, 55, 1-46.

JONES, E. 2012. The JCMS Annual Review Lecture. JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 50, 53-67.

KONO, D. Y. 2007. Making Anarchy Work: International Legal Institutions and Trade Cooperation. Journal of Politics, 69, 746-759.

MANGER, M. S. 2012. Vertical Trade Specialization and the Formation of North-South PTAs. World Politics, 64, 622-658.

MILGROM, P. R., NORTH, D. C. & WEINGAST, B. R. 1990. The Role of Institutions in the Revival of Trade: The Law Merchant, Private Judges, and the Champagne Fairs. Economics and Politics, 2, 1-21.

MILNER, H. V. 1987. Resisting the protectionist temptation: industry and the making of trade policy in France and the United States during the 1970s. International Organization, 41, 639-665.

MORAVCSIK, A. 2012. Europe After the Crisis. How to Sustain a Common Currency. Foreign Affairs, 91, 54-68.

NORTH, D. C. & WEINGAST, B. R. 1989. Constitution and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England. Journal of Economic History, 49, pp. 803-832.

OATLEY, T. 2012. International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy, New York, Longman.

OWEN, J. E. 2015. Labor and Protectionist Sentiment. In: MARTIN, L. L. (ed.) Oxford Handbook on the Political Economy of International Trade. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

POLETTI, A. & DE BIÈVRE, D. 2016. Judicial Politics and International Cooperation: From Disputes to Deal Making at the World Trade Organization, Colchester, European Consortium for Political Research, ECPR Press.

ROGOWSKI, R. 1989. Commerce and Coalitions: How Trade affects domestic political alignments, Princeton, Princeton University Press.

WOLF, D. & ZANGL, B. 1996. The European Economic and Monetary Union. European Journal of International Relations, 2, 355-393.

ZANGL, B. 2008. Judicialization Matters! A Comparison of Dispute Settlement Under GATT and the WTO. International Studies Quarterly, 52, 825-854.





Suggested books

International Political Economy 2016-17


Some Great Classics of International Political Economy

  • SMITH, A. 1776. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, Indianapolis, Liberty classics.
  • SCHUMPETER, J. 1942. Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, New York, Harper's.
  • HAYEK, F. A. 1944. The Road to Serfdom, Chicago, University of Chicago. (‘Austrian economics’)
  • POLANYI, K. 1944. The Great Transformation. The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, Boston, Beacon Press.
  • MOORE, B. J. 1966. Social origins of dictatorship and democracy: lord and peasant in the making of the modern world, Boston, Beacon Press. (excruciatingly demanding, truly Marxist, very rewarding)
  • HIRSCHMAN, A. O. 1970. Exit, Voice, and Loyalty. Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States, Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University Press.
  • KEOHANE, R. O. & NYE, J. S. 1979/2001. Power and Interdependence, New York, Addison Wesley Longman.
  • RUGGIE, J.-G. 1983. The antinomies of interdependence, NY, Columbia University Press.
  • OLSON, M. 1965. The Logic of Collective Action. Public Goods and the theory of groups, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press.
  • OLSON, M. 1982. The rise and decline of nations: economic growth, stagflation, and social rigidities, New Haven, Yale University Press.
  • NORTH, D. C. 1981. Structure and Change in Economic History, New York, Norton.
  • NORTH, D. C. 1990. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic Performance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (Nobel prize winner)
  • OSTROM, E. 1990. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • GALBRAITH, J. K. 1992. The great crash 1929: the classic study of that disaster, London, Penguin Books.
  • PIERSON, P. 2004. Politics and Time, Princeton, Princeton University Press.


Commerce and Coalitions

  • ROGOWSKI, R. 1989. Commerce and Coalitions: How Trade affects domestic political alignments, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • HISCOX, M. J. 2002. International Trade and Political Conflict. Commerce, Coalitions, and Mobility, Princeton and Oxford, Princeton University Press.

Trade liberalization: why did it happen (or not)?

  • SCHATTSCHNEIDER, E. E. 1935. Politics, Pressures and the Tariff, New York, Prentice Hall.
  • MILNER, H. V. 1988. Resisting Protectionism. Global Industries and the Politics of International Trade, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • VERDIER, D. 1994. Democracy and international trade: Britain, France and the United States, 1860-1990, Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.
  • GILLIGAN, M. J. 1997. Empowering exporters: reciprocity, delegation, and collective action in American trade policy, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.
  • IRWIN, D. A. 1997. Against the tide. An intellectual history of free trade, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • DÜR, A. 2010. Protection for Exporters. Power and Discrimination in Transatlantic Trade Relations, 1930 - 2010, Ithaca and London, Cornell University Press.
  • ECKHARDT, J. 2015. Business Lobbying and Trade Governance. The Case of EU-China Relations, London, Palgrave MacMillan.
  • MANGER, M. S. 2009. Investing in Protection: The Politics of Preferential Trade Agreements between North and South, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.


  • IRWIN, D. A., MAVROIDIS, P. C. & SYKES, A. O. 2008. The Genesis of GATT, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. (history)
  • KIM, S. Y. 2010. Power and the Governance of Global Trade: From the GATT to the WTO, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
  • BARFIELD, C. E. 2001. Free Trade, Sovereignty, Democracy. The Future of the World Trade Organization, Washington DC, The AEI Press, Publisher for the American Enterprise Institute. (radical liberal, critical appraisal)
  • SELL, S. 2003. Private Power, Public Law. The Globalization of Intellectual Property Rights, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • BOWN, C. 2009. Self-Enforcing Trade, Washington, Brookings. (WTO dispute settlement and developing countries)
  • DAVIS, C. J. 2012. Why adjudicate? Enforcing Trade Rules in the WTO, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • POLETTI, A. & DE BIÈVRE, D. forthcoming. Judicial politics and international cooperation: from disputes to deal making at the WTO, Colchester, ECPR Press.

The forgotten tale of developed protectionism against developing countries

  • AGGARWAL, V. K. 1985. Liberal protectionism: the international politics of organized textile trade, Berkeley, University of California Press.
  • RAVENHILL, J. 1985. Collective Clientelism. The Lome Conventions and North-South Relations, New York, Columbia University Press.
  • UNDERHILL, G. R. D. 1998. Industrial Crisis and the Open Economy: Politics, Global Trade and the Textile Industry in the Advanced Economies, London, Houndsmill, Macmillan Press.

Trade sanctions

  • MARTIN, L. L. 1992. Coercive Cooperation. Explaining Multilateral Economic Sanctions, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • DREZNER, D. 1999. The Sanctions Paradox: Economic Statecraft and International Relations, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Giumelli, F. (2011). Coercing, constraining and signaling. Explaining UN and EU sanctions after the cold war. Colchester, ECPR Press.

EU trade policy

  • YOUNG, A. R. & PETERSON, J. 2014. Parochial Global Europe. 21st Century Trade Politics, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Siles-Brügge, G. (2014). Constructing European Union Trade Policy, A Global Idea of Europe. London, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • DE VILLE, F. & SILES-BRÜGGE, G. 2015. TTIP: The Truth about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Cambridge, Polity Press.


  • HELLEINER, E. 1994. States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
  • EICHENGREEN, B. 1996. Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • STRANGE, S. 1997. Casino Capitalism, Manchester, Manchester University Press.
  • STRANGE, S. 1998. Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.
  • OATLEY, T. 1997. Monetary Politics: Exchange Rate Cooperation in the European Union, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.
  • BLYTH, M. 2002. Great Transformations. Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • VERDIER, D. 2003. Moving Money: The domestic institutions of capital mobility in comparative and historical perspective, Cambridge University Press.

The Euro-crisis; Was it a debt crisis (Sinn)? Or a banking crisis (Admati & Hellwig; Woll)? Or a crisis of thought (Blyth)? And why was the Euro created anyway (Jones)?

  • SINN, H.-W. 2012. Die Target-Falle, München, Hanser Verlag. (das Original)
  • SINN, H.-W. 2014. The Euro trap : on bursting bubbles, budgets, and beliefs Oxford, Oxford University Press. (the more accessible English version)
  • JONES, E. 2003. The Politics of Economic and Monetary Union. Integration and Idiosyncracy, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Admati, A. and M. Hellwig (2013). The Bankers’ New Clothes: What’s Wrong with Banking and What to Do about it. Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • WOLL, C. 2014. The Power of Inaction: Bank Bailouts in Comparison, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
  • BLYTH, M. 2013. Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea, New York, Oxford University Press.

International institutions

  • KEOHANE, R. 1984. After hegemony : cooperation and discord in the world political economy, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • GRUBER, L. 2000. Ruling the World: power politics and the rise of supranational institutions, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
  • BÜTHE, T. & MATTLI, W. 2011. The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • DREZNER, D. 2007. All Politics is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes, Princeton, Princeton University Press.
  • Hale, T., D. Held and K. Young (2013). Gridlock: Why Global Cooperation is Failing when We Need It Most. Cambridge, Polity Press. (quite the opposite of Drezner 2014)
  • DREZNER, D. 2014. The System Worked:How the World Stopped Another Great Depression, Oxford, Oxford University Press. (quite the opposite of Hale, Held & Young 2013…)
  • JUPILLE, J., MATTLI, W. & SNIDAL, D. 2013. Institutional Choice and Global Commerce, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.


  • Parthasarathi, Prasannan, Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850, Cambridge University Press.
  • HAGGARD, S. & R., K. R. 2008. Development, Democracy and Welfare States: Latin America, East Asia and Eastern Europe, Princeton NJ., Princeton University Press.
  • EASTERLY, W. 2006. The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good, New York, Penguin Publishers.
  • HAFNER-BURTON, E. M. 2009. Forced to Be Good: Why Trade Agreements Boost Human Rights, Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press.
  • Helleiner, Eric 2014, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order, Cornell University Press.

‘Varieties of capitalism’ or ‘comparative political economy’

From the core ‘Varieties of capitalism’ literature

  • GOUREVITCH, P. A. 1986. Politics in Hard Times: Comparative Responses to International Economic Crises, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
  • HALL, P. A. & SOSKICE, D. 2003. Varieties of capitalism: the institutional foundations of comparative advantage, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • GARRETT, G. 1998. Partisan politics in the global economy, Cambridge, Cambridge Univ. Press.

On welfare states

  • LIPSET, S. M. & MARKS, G. W. 2000. It didn't happen here: why socialism failed in the United States, New York, Norton.
  • LEIBFRIED, S. & RIEGER, E. 2003. Limits to Globalization, Cambridge, Polity.
  • EBBINGHAUS, B. & MANOW, P. 2001. Comparing Welfare Capitalism. Social Policy and Political Economy in Europe, Japan and the USA London, London, Routledge.

Comparative corporatism in small states like Belgium

  • KATZENSTEIN, P. 1984. Corporatism and Change: Austria, Switzerland and the politics of industry, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
  • KATZENSTEIN, P. 1985. Small states in world markets: industrial policy in Europe, Ithaca, Cornell University Press.
  • JONES, E. 2008. Economic adjustment and political transformation in small states, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

On the politics of firm networks

  • FARRELL, H. 2009. The Political Economy of Trust. Institutions, Interests, and Inter-Firm Cooperation in Italy and Germany, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

On the origins of the European Union

  • MORAVCSIK, A. 1998. The Choice for Europe, social purpose and state power from Messina to Maastricht, Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press.
  • TRACHTENBERG, M. 1999. A Constructed Peace: The Making of the European Settlement, 1945-1963, Princeton, Princeton University Press.