GRA 5914 Global Politics: International Political Economy and World Trade


GRA 5914 Global Politics: International Political Economy and World Trade

Responsible for the course
Kjell A Eliassen

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Law

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

This is an introductory international political economy course and requires no previous knowledge. It has been designed for the ‘Minor in Political Economy’ specialization. The central focus is on global politics and international trade, the processes of globalization that drive change in international political economy, and international organizations and regimes designed to manage international trade and the world economy. The course includes case studies of world trade, and sectors such as energy and information technology.

Learning outcome
The course addresses international developments since the end of the Cold War – more specifically trends and patterns related to democratisation, economic growth and trade as well as stability or change in international relations. It covers theories of international relations, and addresses the great questions of international political economy, including the ‘end of history’ thesis, the relationship between democracy and economic growth/stability, developments in world trade and efforts to build sustainable international institution to regulate this.
The course also addresses the EU’s external relations, including some focus on Norway’s relationship with the EU and international free trade regimes. It is designed to provide students with tools and frameworks for analysing current debates and controversies related to the widening of the EU and the EU's relationship with Norway and the rest of the world through organisations such as the WTO, as well as the current debates on the design and operation of international organisations such as the institutions that have been established to liberalise (GATT) and manage (WTO) world trade or issues such as climate change (Kyoto). Institutional design of other international organisations related to democracy, security and human rights are also addressed.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading
Baylis, John, Steve Smith and Patricia Owens, eds. 2014. The Globalization of world politics : an introduction to international relations. 6th ed. Oxford University Press
Dicken, Peter. 2015. Global shift : mapping the changing contours of the world economy. 7th ed. Sage

A list of compulsory readings will be provided on It's learning or in class.
During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading
Balaam, David N., Bradford Dillman. 2014. Introduction to international political economy. 6th ed. Pearson
Dillon, Sara. 2002. International trade and economic law and the European Union. Hart
Economides, Spyros and Peter Wilson. 2001. The economic factor in international relations : a brief introduction. I. B. Tauris
El-Agraa, Ali M. 2011. The European Union : economics and policies. 9th ed. Cambridge University Press
Eliassen, Kjell A ., red. 2012. Business and politics in a new global order. Gyldendal Akademisk
Emerson, Michael, Marius Vahl and Stephen Woolcock. 2002. Navigating by the stars : Norway, the European Economic Area and the European Union. Centre for European Policy Studies
Gilpin, Robert. 2001. Global political economy : understanding the international economic order. Princeton University Press
Hill, Christopher and Michael Smith, eds. 2011. International relations and the European Union. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press
Landes, David S. 1998. The wealth and poverty of nations : why some are so rich and some so poor. W.W. Norton
Oatley, Thomas H. 2014. International political economy. 5th ed., New international ed. Pearson Education
Ravenhill, John. 2014. Global political economy. 4th ed. Oxford University Press
Stubbs, Richard and Geoffrey R. D. Undershill, eds. 2006. Political economy and the changing global order. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press
Young, John and John Kent. 2013. International relations since 1945 : a global history. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press

Individual journal articles and book chapters available in the library and/or electronically will be recommended as further reading.

Course outline
1. Stability and change in international relations since the end of the Cold War, and International Relations theory
2. Globalisation and new patterns of international politics
3. International Political Economy
4. International trade from GATT to WTO, free trade and development; international regimes and regulation.
5. The EU’s relationship with other international organisations and its role in global politics, with particular focus on free trade regimes (the WTO) and the relationship with the USA.
6. Norway’s changing links with the EU, and her participation in international institutions.

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.
Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.

The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
Presentation 15%
Assignment 15%
Term paper 70% - individual

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Presentation 15%
Assignment 15%
Term paper 70% Individual

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi.

Examination code(s)
GRA 59141 continuous assessment accounts for 100 % of the final grade in the course GRA 5914.

Examination support materials

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honor Code
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.