PSCI 3213 International Political Economy

Instructor Contact:

Heidi McNamara, PhD


About the Course:

This course is designed as an advanced undergraduate course in the subfield of International Political Economy (IPE). We will focus on topics of international concern including trade, investment, monetary systems, and development. Drawing upon theories from both political science and economics, this course asks you to think critically about how international economic interactions are shaped by various actors’ incentives and existing institutional constraints. Building from this critical framework we will answer questions such as: Why is free trade contentious if economists support it with near-unanimity? What are the political consequences of foreign direct investment? Who benefits from globalization?

Course Prerequisites: While there are no formal prerequisites for this course, I recommend students have some familiarity with international relations prior to enrolling, either through PSCI-2223 or IAFS-1000. Prior knowledge of macroeconomic concepts may also be useful.


By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Recognize and define key terms from political economic theory.
  • Discuss theoretical concepts with peers to gain deeper understanding of course material.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assess real world situations using economic and political theories.
  • Examine the basic political and economic consequences of a variety of international economic challenges and resulting policies, and identify the distributional consequences of these policies.
  • Construct thoughtful analyses of news articles and communicate these analyses to a general audience.
  • Critically evaluate the success (or failure) of international economic institutions.

Required Texts:

There are no textbooks required for purchase. Readings and other course materials will be linked on Canvas.

Grading (out of n points):

A final exam makes up 40% of the course grade. Three news analysis papers are each worth 15% of the course grade (45% total). Course discussions are worth 15% of the course grade.

Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado