COURSE DESCRIPTION: Political economy is a subfield of social science that explores the causes and consequences of political and economic interactions in an increasingly globalized world. By incorporating theoretical insights from both political science and economics, political economy assumes economic outcomes are not simply the result of resources and market forces, but also the result of political (and ideational) forces that shape outcomes through government policy. In this course we will critically examine the role of international financial institutions (IFIs) in governing global economic stability. We will focus primarily on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WB), exploring their creation, development and operation as the lender of last resort. Special emphasis will be placed on developing critical thinking about how IFIs shape the incentives of political actors and how the political preferences of voters, interest groups, firms and politicians shape the policies and outcomes of IFIs.  

The course will not duplicate the content of other POLI144 International Political Economy courses. As such, discussion over globalization, trade policy, monetary policy, foreign direct investment and inequality will be limited. 

COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES: By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • Understand the defining characteristics of major international financial institutions, their purpose, policies, and outcomes.

  • Identify tensions within international financial institutions and their role in reforming the global economic infrastructure

  • Create an original and evidence-based argument about what the role of international financial institutions should be in regulating future economic crises.

  • Develop clear and persuasive forms of visual, oral and written communication

Download the full syllabus here



READING GUIDES: I provide additional reading guides on what is worth noting about each of the course materials. Reading guides are neither required nor collected. Their job is to offer guidance on the key points of each piece as you prepare for class.