Course description

Global Politics: International Political Economy and World Trade


This is an introductory international political economy course and requires no previous knowledge of the subject. The central focus is on global politics and international trade, the processes of globalization that drive change in international political economy (IPE), and international organizations and international public policy (IPP) 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.

The course addresses international developments since the end of the Cold War, and– 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 (IR), 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 institutions 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.

Course content

  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 and International Public Policy
  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.

Learning outcome knowledge

The course is designed to provide students with tools and frameworks for analysing current debates and controversies related to the EU and world trade, including the EU's relationship with Norway and organisations such as the WTO, as well as current debates on the design and operation of international organisations. This includes the main institutions that have been established to liberalise (GATT) and manage (WTO) world trade, as well as issues such as climate change (Paris accord). Other international organisations related to democracy, security and human rights are also addressed.

Exam organisation

  • Presentation: 15%
  • Written assignment: 15%
  • Written assignment: 70%