ITRN 500 Global Political Economy

ITRN/GCP 500: Global Political Economy

ITRN 500 DL1, Asynchronous, 3.0 credits, Spring 2023

Updated: February 1, 2023

Phone: 703-993-8212
Email: kreinert@gmu.edu
Website: reinert.gmu.edu
Office hours: Scheduled over email and held on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Go to “Collaborate Ultra Office Hours on left-hand side of the course page.
Office: Van Metre Hall 627

Foundation course in the GCP program. Explores issues and ideas affecting global security, stability, growth and development from country, regional and thematic perspectives. Introduces students to key concepts, policies, and practices that underpin global commerce, international relations more broadly, and non-governmental transnational activities.

Approach

This course is a practical introduction to the field of Global Political Economy (GPE) or International Political Economy (IPE). We will use the abbreviation GCP. It examines the ways that international economics interacts with politics within the global economy with a focus on multiple dimensions of global commerce, including international trade, international finance, and international production with a focus on policy outcomes. While there are many approaches to GPE, this course will focus on political economy as informed by international economics and the institutional analysis of international relations. These approaches are chosen due to their relevance to the GCP program.

This section of ITRN/GCP 500 is virtual and asynchronous. Our primary meeting place will be Blackboard.

Learning Objectives

Knowledge and Understanding

Students will understand the broad history of Global Political Economy, its foundations in Political Science, and its relevant to International Economics.

Students will be able to explain the broad institutional features of the global economy, as well as the tensions inherent in these institutions.

Students will be able to explain the role of both politics and culture in the global economy, as well as their impacts on global policy formation.

Analytical Skills and Abilities

Students will be able to apply the theories of Global Political Economy to analyze current problems in international economic policy, global policy formation, and international relations.

Students will be able to search for and evaluate relevant evidence to analyze issues in Global Political Economy and to craft short, well-written briefs on these issues.

Professional Development

Students will be able to evaluate global policy issues and institutions and, where appropriate, recommend ways to improve them.

Students will be able to communicate in concise, organized, and well-argued written formats on issues related to the global economy.

Readings

A perennial issue for graduate students is “How do I read all this stuff?!?” This is particularly relevant for journal articles that can be quite dense, and journal articles form the content of this course. Here are some hints. Don’t read journal articles like a novel. Rather, take a top-down approach: Start with the title, abstract, conclusions. Then carefully go through all the section headings to get a sense of the structure and content of the article. Make priorities regarding the sections that are most important and read these. Quickly go through the references to see if there are any you want to consult. If there is time, read the other sections as well. Do this with each article assigned for the week.

Assignment Descriptions

Students will be evaluated in this course based on participation in weekly discussion boards (30 percent), weekly written assignments (40 percent), and a final exam (30 percent).

The weekly discussion boards address the week’s topics, the readings, the weekly writing assignment, or any related topics/issues you want to introduce. Each week, you need to post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment. Your replies to other posts should be thoughtful, but you should also feel free to draw connections to other things you are thinking about. I will also be active on the discussion boards towards the middle and end of each week, but you should react to these posts just like they are those of another student: they are not the final word!

The weekly writing assignments address specific questions (see below) related to the topics and readings. They are due by the end of Sunday each week, so please plan accordingly. In each case, there is a maximum of 700 words, and you should try to write as carefully as possible. I will give you feedback on each of these writing assignments.

The final exam will address central concepts and broad themes from the semester.

Week 0: Course Preparation (January 16-January 22)

Before the course begins, please view the introduction to the course PowerPoint presentation. Please also introduce yourselves on the discussion board, saying a few words about your educational interests, professional activities, or anything else you think might be relevant.

Week 1: Introduction to GPE (January 23-January 29)

Articles:

Gilpin, R. (1971) “The Politics of Transnational Economic Relations,” International Organization, 25:3, 398-419.

Ruggie, J.G. (1982) ‘International Regimes, Transactions, and Change: Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order’, International Organization, 36:2, 379-415.

Phillips, N. (2017) “Power and Inequality in the Global Political Economy,” International Affairs, 93:2, 429-444.

Week 1 Writing Assignment: One central variable in GPE that is absent in international economics is power. In up to 700 well-written words, please discuss how each of this week’s readings has touched on the variable of power. What have you learned from the various approaches to power, and why do you think it might be important?

Week 1 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Walter, A. and G. Sen (2009) Analyzing the Global Political Economy, Princeton University Press.

Week 2: Mercantilism (January 30-February 5)

Articles:

Reinert, K.A. (2023) “Power and Plenty,” Chapter 2 of The Lure of Economic Nationalism: Beyond Zero Sum, Anthem Press.

Perrotta, C. (2014) “Thomas Mun’s England’s Treasure by Forraign Trade: The 17th Century Manifesto for Economic Development,” History of Economics Review, 59:1, 94-106.

Viner, J. (1948) “Power Versus Plenty as Objectives of Foreign Policy in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,” World Politics, 1:1, 1-29.

Week 2 Writing Assignment: For Week 1, you wrote on the role of power in GPE. In up to 700 well-written words, please discuss how the related concept of plenty adds to the analysis of GPE. What do you take from the discussion of mercantilism and the relationship of power and plenty?

Week 2 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Findlay, R. and K.H. O’Rourke (2007) Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton University Press.

Week 3: List and Economic Nationalism (February 6-February 12)

Articles:

Reinert, K.A. (2023) “Industry and War,” Chapter 3 of The Lure of Economic Nationalism: Beyond Zero Sum, Anthem Press.

Ince, O.U. (2016) “Friedrich List and the Imperial Origins of the National Economy,” New Political Economy, 21:4, 380-400.

Irwin, D. (2001) “Tariffs and Growth in Late Nineteenth Century America,” World Economy, 24:1, 15-30.

Week 3 Writing Assignment: In Weeks 1 and 2, you wrote on both power and plenty in GPE. In up to 700 well-written words, please discuss how these two concepts are treated by List and his intellectual followers in modern economic nationalism. In List-inspired economic policies, are there particular conceptualizations of power and plenty? What are they?

Week 3 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Helleiner, E. and A. Pickel (eds.) (2005), Economic Nationalism in a Globalizing World, Cornell University Press.

Week 4: Multilateralism and Realism (February 13-February 19)

Ikenberry, G.J. (1992) “A World Economy Restored: Expert Consensus and the Anglo-American Postwar Settlement,” International Organization, 46:1, 289-321

Ruggie, J.G. (1992) “Multilateralism: The Anatomy of an Institution,” International Organization, 46:3, 561-598.

Mearsheimer, J.T. (1994-1995) “The False Promise of Institutions,” International Security, 19:3, 5-49.

Week 4 Writing Assignment: To what extent can multilateralism be considered as an attempt to resolve the tension between power and plenty? Can multilateralism stand up to the realism critique? While there are no final answers to these questions, what are your assessments at this point in the course?

Week 4 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Donnelly, J. (2000) Realism and International Relations, Cambridge University Press.

Week 5: The Liberal Order: Trade (February 20-February 26)

Eaton, J. (2017) “The Long Shadow That Ricardo Has Cast Over the Modern Analysis of Trade,” in S.J. Evenett (ed.), Cloth for Wine? The Relevance of Ricardo’s Comparative Advantage in the 21st Century, Center for Economic Policy Research, 21-31.

Iliasu, A.A. (1971) “The Cobden-Chevalier Commercial Treaty of 1860,” The Historical Journal, 14:1, 67-98.

Koopman, R., J. Hancock, R. Piermartini and E. Bekkers (2020) “The Value of the WTO,” Journal of Policy Modeling, 42:4, 829-849.

Week 5 Writing Assignment: What is the relationship of the multilateral trading system to the multilateralism-realism dichotomy of Week 4? What are its main features and how do these contrast with the economic nationalism of Week 3?

Week 5 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Irwin, D.A. (2020) Free Trade Under Fire, Princeton University Press.

Website Suggestion: https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/tif_e.htm

Week 6: The Liberal Order: Finance (February 27-March 5)

Eichengreen, B. and P. Temin (2000) “The Gold Standard and the Great Depression,” Contemporary European History, 9:2, 183-207.

James, H. (2012) “The Multiple Contexts of Bretton Woods,” Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 28:3, 411-430.

Eichengreen, B. (2010) “Out-of-the-Box Thoughts about the International Financial Architecture,” Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy, 1:1, 1-20.

Week 6 Writing Assignment: What is the relationship of the post-Bretton Woods financial system to the multilateralism-realism dichotomy of Week 4? What are its main features and to what extent has it been successful? The latter is a big question and one you can only partially answer at this point in the program.

Week 6 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Eichengreen, B. (2019) Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System, Princeton University Press.

Week 7: Non-State Actors: Multinational Enterprises (March 6-March 12)

Prahalad, C.K. and K. Lieberthal (1998) “The End of Corporate Imperialism,” Harvard Business Review, 76: 4, pp. 68-79.

Reinert, K.A., O.T. Reinert and G. Debebe (2022) “OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises,” in K.A. Elliott (ed.), Handbook on Globalisation and Labour Standards, Edward Elgar, 340-358.

Usui, T., M. Kotabe and J.Y. Murray (2017) “A Dynamic Process of Building Global Supply Chain Competence by New Ventures: The Case of Uniqlo,” Journal of International Marketing, 25:3, 1-20.

Week 7 Writing Assignment: Are multinational enterprises (MNEs) part of the “liberal order”? To what extend and how? Is it appropriate for the multilateral system to be extended to non-state actors?

Week 7 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Baldwin, R. (2016) The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization, Harvard University Press.

Week 8: Spring Break (March 13-March 19)

Week 9: China (March 20-March 26)

Katada, S.N., J.H. Lin and M. Wan (2022) “Reshoring from China: Comparing the Economic Statecraft of Japan and South Korea,” The Pacific Review, forthcoming.

Yang, D.L. (2021) “The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Estrangement of US-China Relations,” Asian Perspective, 45:1, 7-31.

Mavroidis, P.C. and A. Sapir (2021) “All the Tea in China: Solving the ‘China Problem’ at the WTO,” Global Policy, 12:S3, 41-48.

Week 9 Writing Assignment: In your view, and based on our reading, is there a possibility of effectively incorporating China within the multilateral trade and financial systems? Or are we facing a necessary disintegration of these systems on this issue?

Week 9 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Mavroidis, P.C. and A. Sapir (2021) China and the WTO: Why Multilateralism Still Matters, Princeton University Press.

Week 10: The European Union and Brexit (March 27-April 2)

Dinan, D. (2014) “Achieving European Union,” Chapter 7 of Europe Recast: A History of the European Union, Lynne Rienner, 219-249.

Arnorsson, A. and G. Zoega (2018) “On the Causes of Brexit,” European Journal of Political Economy, 55, 301-323.

Reinert, K.A. (2023) “The Brexit Blunder,” Chapter 7 of The Lure of Economic Nationalism: Beyond Zero Sum, Anthem Press.

Week 10 Writing Assignment: To what extent can we appropriately view Brexit as an example of a tension between the liberal order and nationalism? Given what you know, has Brexit been a successful project? In answering these questions, you should feel free to disagree with the Reinert chapter.

Week 10 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Dinan, D. (2010) Ever Closer Union: An Introduction to European Integration, Lynn Rienner.

Week 11: Techno-Nationalism (April 3-April 9)

Singh, J.P. (2017) “Technology,” in K.A. Reinert (ed.), Handbook of Globalisation and Development, Edward Elgar, 426-443.

Reich, R.B. (1987) “The Rise of Techno-Nationalism,” Atlantic Monthly, 259, 62-66.

Luo, Y. (2022) “Illusions of Techno-Nationalism,” Journal of International Business Studies, 53:3, 550-567.

Week 11 Writing Assignment: If we view technology as a factor in “globalization,” to what extent is techno-nationalism an “anti-globalization” factor? To what extent is techno-nationalism simply a reflection of the United States-China tension within the multilateral system?

Week 11 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Samuels, R.J. (1994) Rich Nation, Strong Army: National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan, Cornell University Press.

Week 12: Culture (April 10-April 16)

Sen, A. (2008) “Violence, Identity and Poverty,” Journal of Peace Research, 45:1, 5-15.

Mansfield, E.D. and D.C. Mutz (2013) “Us Versus Them: Mass Attitudes Toward Offshore Outsourcing,” World Politics, 65:4, 571-608.

Throsby, D. (2017) “Culturally Sustainable Development: Theoretical Concept of Practical Policy Instrument?” International Journal of Cultural Policy, 23:2, 133-147.

Week 12 Writing Assignment: International economists largely ignore culture. In your view, is this lack of attention benign or does it have implications for our understanding of the global economy? What might these implications be?

Week 12 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: J.P. Singh (ed.) (2020) Cultural Values in Political Economy, Stanford University Press.

Week 13: Climate Change and Sustainability (April 17-April 23)

Clapp, J. and E. Helleiner (2012) “International Political Economy and the Environment: Back to the Basics?” International Affairs, 88:3, 485-501.

Berchin, I.I, I.B. Valduga, J. Garcia and J.B.S.O de Andrade Guerra (2017) “Climate Change and Forced Migrations: An Effort Towards Recognizing Climate Refugees,” Geoforum, 84, 147-150.

Reinert, K.A. (2023) “Fishery Subsidies and the World Trade Organization: A Concise History” and “Fishery Subsidies and the World Trade Organization: The Negotiated Agreement,” International Negotiations, forthcoming.

Week 13 Writing Assignment: Given the reading this week and your knowledge about climate change, what are its most important implications for the global economy and the multilateral system? To what extent can climate change be seen as a global risk factor for both MNEs and national governments?

Week 13 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: O’Neill, K. (2017) The Environment and International Relations, Cambridge University Press.

Week 14: Pandemics (April 24-April 30)

Markel, H. (2014) “Worldly Approaches to Global Health: 1851 to the Present,” Public Health, 128:2, 124-128.

Bollyky, T.J. and C.P. Bown (2020) “The Tragedy of Vaccine Nationalism: Only Cooperation Can End the Pandemic,” Foreign Affairs, 99:5, 2020, 96-108.

Gereffi, G., P. Pananond and T. Pedersen (2022) “Resilience Decoded: The Role of Firms, Global Value Chains, and the State in COVID-19 Medical Supplies,” California Management Review, 64:2, 46-70.

Week 14 Writing Assignment: Given the reading this week and your knowledge about pandemics, what are their most important implications for the global economy and the multilateral system? To what extent can pandemics be seen as a global risk factor for both national governments and the multilateral system itself?

Week 14 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Book Suggestion: Kahl, C. and T. Wright, Aftershocks: Pandemic Politics and the End of the Old International Order, St. Martin’s Press.

Week 15: Debt (May 1-May 7)

Schucknecht, L. (2022) Debt Sustainability: A Global Perspective, Cambridge University Press.

Landers, C. and R. Aboneaaj (2022) “How the Global Debt Crisis Could Make the Hunger Crisis Worse,” Center for Global Development.

Week 15 Writing Assignment: This week, there will be no writing assignment! This is to free up time for you to begin preparing for the final exam next week.

Week 15 Discussion Board: Please see above under Assignment Descriptions. Post one question/comment to the discussion board and to respond to one question/comment.

Week 16: Final Exam (May 8-May 14)

More information coming soon!

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