TKUC LogoTHE KING'S UNIVERSITY COLLEGE

COURSE NUMBER: ECON 301
COURSE TITLE: International Political Economy
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Gerda Kits
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: Analysis of the conflicting viewpoints that influence International Political Economy (IPE); tracing the structure and changing forms of IPE in trade, finance, technology and information flows; analysing and evaluating the tension between states and international markets; examining the dynamics and impact of international centres of political/economic power on regions of the world that are small and vulnerable; investigation of the role of large corporations in the global political economy. Attention will also be given to the impact of the IPE on policies in Canada. Descriptive and evaluative data will be included and examined throughout.

Prerequisites: ECON 203

REQUIRED TEXTS: Required text: Balaam, David N., and Bradford Dillman. Introduction to International Political Economy. 6th Ed. Toronto: Longman/Pearson, 2014. ISBN 9870133402391.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Preparatory assignments 15%
Case study participation15%
Course project25%
Midterm20%
Final exam25%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES: Every day, the international headlines confront us with heartbreaking, complex and seemingly intractable problems - devastating wars, extreme weather events, the desperation of refugees, famine, poverty, and injustice. Our hearts are further broken when we realize that we are personally connected with many of these events through our participation in global economic and political systems. We feel implicated, yet helpless, and long to know what we can do to make things better.

This course does not offer easy answers to these problems. However, it does try to equip you, through greater understanding of international structures and the worldviews that underlie them, the ability to ask critical questions, and familiarity with proposed solutions, to seek out ways to move forward. By the end of the course, you should be able to:
  • Identify and describe specific issues in the field of international political economy - that is, issues that relate to the interactions between economic, political and social institutions on an international level.
  • Connect these issues to your personal experiences and participation in such institutions. 
  • Explore and evaluate a range of potential explanations for these issues, drawing from different theoretical perspectives, and argue for or against a range of alternative solutions.
  • Do all of this in a way that acknowledges different approaches, draws on evidence, and recognizes the importance of underlying perspectives about the world.
COURSE OUTLINE:
  • Jan. 5  Welcome and introduction to the course; student input into syllabus
  • Jan. 10 Introduction to theoretical perspectives on IPE: Liberalism, Mercantilism and Structuralism (these perspectives will be further explored through the case studies)
  • Jan. 12 A Christian vision for IPE: “Norms for the International Economic Order” (Goudzwaard and van Baars)
  • Jan. 17 Case study #1: The fashion trade (Ch. 6: The production & trade structure)
  • Jan. 19 No class – I.S. Conference
  • Jan. 24 Case study #2: NAFTA, Trump, and outsourcing (Ch. 6: The production & trade structure)
  • Jan. 26 Case study #3: China and the yuan (Ch. 7: The international monetary & finance structure)
  • Jan. 31 Case study #4: The EU debt crisis (Ch. 8: International debt and financial crisis)
  • Feb. 2 Case study #5: Brexit (Ch. 12: Toward a more perfect European Union)
  • Feb. 7 Case study #6: Health care patents (Ch. 10: The knowledge & technology structure)
  • Feb. 9 Case study #7: Terrorism and the power of ideas (Ch. 5: Alternative perspectives)
  • Feb. 14 Review class
  • Feb. 16 Midterm exam
  • Feb. 20-24 No class – Reading Week
  • Feb. 28 Case study #8: OPEC and Alberta (Ch. 14: The Middle East and 19: The IPE of Energy)
  • Mar. 2 Case study #9: Offshore banking (Ch. 15: The Illicit Global Economy)
  • Mar. 7 Case study #10: Human trafficking (Ch. 15: The Illicit Global Economy)
  • Mar. 9 Guest speaker (Harry Kits): Corporate Social Responsibility and Trans-National Corporations
  • Mar. 14 Case study #11: Global mining companies  & trade (Ch. 17: Transnational Corporations)
  • Mar. 16 Case study #12: The international refugee crisis & Canada (Ch. 16: Migration & Tourism)
  • Mar. 21 Case study #13: Tourism in Canada (Ch. 16: Migration & Tourism)
  • Mar. 23 Case study #14: Feminist perspectives on IPE (Ch. 5: Alternative perspectives)
  • Mar. 28 Case study #15: Food trade & aid (Ch. 18: Food & Hunger)
  •  *Course project draft outline/summary due*
  • Mar. 30 Case study #16: Climate change: whose responsibility? (Ch. 20: The Environment)
  • Apr. 4 Case study #17: TBD
  • Apr. 6 Case study #18: TBD
  • Apr. 11 Case study #19: TBD
  • Apr. 13 Review class
  • Date TBD Final exam (to be scheduled by Registry)


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