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POLSC411: International Political Economy

Unit 1: Theories and Themes of International Political Economy   In this unit, we will review the major theories and themes of international political economy in the last century.  These concepts are attempts at understanding how state economies interact with each other on the international stage.  Different theories have been prominent at different points in modern history.  This unit will focus on the main ideas and concepts that have emerged as the dominant perspectives among political economists.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 16 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.2: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 4.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.4: 2.5 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 1.5 hours

☐    Assessment: 1.5 hours
 

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:
- Identify, explain, and compare major theories in the field of international political economy. - Explain the decline of power of traditional nation-states. - Analyze the evolution of major international political economic theories.

1.1 Definition of International Political Economy   - Reading: International Economics: Theory and Policy: Chapter 10: Political Economy and International Trade: “Section 1: Chapter Overview” Link: International Economics: Theory and Policy: Chapter 10: Political Economy and International Trade: “Section 1: Chapter Overview” (PDF)
 
Instructions: We start off our course defining Political Economy as a cross discipline of political science and economics. Please read this section in its entirety. Pay close attention to how the author defines political economy.

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.
  • Lecture: YouTube: The Open Academy: Harvey Molotch’s Introduction to Sociology “Political Economy” Link: YouTube: The Open Academy: Harvey Molotch’s Introduction to Sociology “Political Economy” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Watch this lecture.
     
    Watching this lecture should take approximately 1 hour.
     
    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to The Open Academy and the original versions can be found here.
     

1.2 Hegemonic Stability Theory   - Lecture: iTunes U: Middlebury College: James Morrison’s “Lecture 4: Structural Theories” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

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  • Reading: Mount Holyoke College: Professor Vincent Ferraro’s “The Theory of Hegemonic Stability” Link: Mount Holyoke College: Professor Vincent Ferraro’s “The Theory of Hegemonic Stability” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read through the entire notes.  Pay close attention to the historical record and the concise definition of Hegemonic Stability Theory.
     
    Terms of Use: This material has been hosted with the kind permission of Professor Vincent Ferraro.

  • Reading: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies: Professor Vincent Ferraro’s version of W. Max Corden’s “American Decline and the End of Hegemony” Link: Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies: Professor Vincent Ferraro’s version of W. Max Corden’s “American Decline and the End of Hegemony” (PDF)

    Also available in:

    EPUB
     
    Instructions: Read through the entire article.  Take note of how the author analyzes the role of the US budget deficit in 1990 as a possible cause of America’s decline.  We hear similar arguments today.
     
    Terms of Use: This material has been hosted with the kind permission of Max Corden.

1.3 Post-Hegemonic Stability Theory   - Lecture: UCTV’s “Conversations with History: Robert Keohane” Link: UCTV’s “Conversations with History: Robert Keohane” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch UC-Berkeley Professor Harry Kriesler interview Professor Robert Keohane on theory, international relations, and international order (57 minutes).  Professor Keohane is a leading IPE and IR scholar whose 1984 book After Hegemony is one of the leading works in the field.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above

  • Reading: Theory Talks’ “Theory Talk #9: Robert Keohane” Link: Theory Talks’ “Theory Talk #9: Robert Keohane” (HTML or PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read the transcript of the interview with Professor Robert Keohane, author of After Hegemony (1984), one of the most influential IPE books written in the last 50 years.  Pay close attention to the paragraph where he discusses the genesis of the book, and its impact on the field.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Political Science Resource Blog’s “Neoliberal Institutionalism: A Summary and Critique” Link: Political Science Resource Blog’s “Neoliberal Institutionalism: A Summary and Critique” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read the posting on neoliberal institutionalism, a major theory of international relations and international political economy that was developed to counter realism, the then-dominant paradigm in both fields. Pay special attention to the section detailing Keohane’s After Hegemony.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Lecture: iTunes U: Middlebury College: James Morrison’s “Lecture 5: The Three I’s: Domestic Interests, Institutions, and Ideas” The Saylor Foundation does not yet have materials for this portion of the course. If you are interested in contributing your content to fill this gap or aware of a resource that could be used here, please submit it here.

    Submit Materials

  • Reading: The National Intelligence Council: G. John Ikenberry’s "Strategic Reactions to American Preeminence: Great Power Politics in the Age of Unipolarity" Link: The National Intelligence Council: G. John Ikenberry’s "Strategic Reactions to American Preeminence: Great Power Politics in the Age of Unipolarity" (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read through the entire article.  The author attempts to explain the actions of a single large economic and political power.  Pay close attention to the characteristics of American power and what differentiates this country from others. 

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.4 Transnational Theory   - Lecture: iTunes U: McGill University: John Downing’s “Transnational Dimensions of Social Movement Media” Link: iTunes U: McGill University: John Downing’s “Transnational Dimensions of Social Movement Media” (iTunes U)
 
Also available in:
Mp3 (click on Mp3 download link)
 
Instructions: Click on the “View in iTunes” hyperlink for podcast 2, titled “Transnational Dimensions of Social Movement Media.”  Listen to the entire lecture (80 minutes).  How can political economists explain the rise of non-nation-state actors?  In other words, the world is seeing a diffusion of power from nations to various other groups like social movements, non-government organizations, and activist networks.  These entities are more fluid and difficult to define. The speaker outlines the lengthy history of transnational forces.  Consider this historical context in light of today’s globalized environment.
 
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  • Reading: Institut de recherche et débat sur la gouvernance: Catherine Willis’s “Transnational Theory” Link: Institut de recherche et débat sur la gouvernance: Catherine Willis’s “Transnational Theory” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read through the entire document.  Think about how the historical transnational movements relate to the ones today.  How are they similar and different?
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.5 Theory of Two-Level Games   - Lecture: Yale University: Ben Polak’s “Lecture 1: Introduction: Five First Lessons” Link: Yale University: Ben Polak’s “Lecture 1: Introduction: Five First Lessons” (YouTube)
 
Also available in:
Flash, Quicktime, Mp3, HTML
iTunes U
 
Instructions: Listen to the entire lecture (70 minutes) to get a general understanding of how game theory works.  Two-Level Games are a specific application of game theory first introduced by Robert Putnam in 1988.  Decision-makers must take into account the often competing interests of domestic and foreign actors.
 
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  • Reading: New York University School of Law: Professor Benedict Kingsbury’s “Unit 2: International Courts and Tribunals” Link: New York University School of Law: Professor Benedict Kingsbury’s “Unit 2: International Courts and Tribunals” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Click on the “Unit 2” hyperlink on the left side of the webpage under “User’s Guide” to download the file.  This is an Adobe Acrobat file that requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded free at Adobe’s Site.  Read the entire article, but focus especially on the definition and application of Two-Level Games.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

Unit One Quiz   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 1 Quiz” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Unit 1 Quiz” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please take this short quiz.  When you are finished,
compare your answers to The Saylor Foundation’s “[Unit 1 Quiz
Answers](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/POLSC411-Unit-One-Quiz-Answers.pdf).”
(PDF)