Flows of capitals and trade don’t stop at national borders and often create dynamics that challenge the nation-state. This Module dives into this comprehensive field of analysis at the intersection between political science and economics. It comprises a broad and elaborated theoretical foundation and a variety of sound methodological tools, often borrowed from micro- and macroeconomics. The Module will also explain the structure of international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Global Flows: Capital and Finance
|12 Weeks à 15hrs|
|Flexible Starting Date - Details on Request|
|On-site Workshop in September|
|Credits: 8 ECTS|
|Supervision by Dedicated Instructor|
|State of the Art LMS Canvas|
- You will have the opportunity to discuss important aspects like the rise of multinational companies, the question of trade and human right standards, and new environmental challenges in case studies.
- You will be able to determine connections between political and economic sciences concerning the questions of capital flows.
- You will be provided with practical skills concerning active participation in controversial discussions, presenting and supporting your own arguments and elaborating a well-structured research paper.
- Creating a Policy Paper on the topic of International Trade Negotiations and a Working Paper concerning Planning a Conference on Globalization.
- Preparing the final research paper. The final paper determines your final grade and can only be submitted if the previous tasks were passed.
Part 01: Introduction to International Trade and Investment
The objective of this module is to provide you with an advanced understanding of the main theories, analytical tools, and empirical insights of a field labelled International Political Economy (IPE). This first unit provides and debates the definition of IPE with which we will work during this module. Furthermore, you will be introduced to the concept of models in IPE. In a following step, you will be familiarized with the rise of IPE since the late 1960s and early 1970s as a comparably young sub-discipline of International Relations (IR) / Global Politics. Finally, you will learn about the three major schools of thought in IPE theory.
- How can we define International Political Economy (IPE)?
- What is the purpose of models in social sciences?
- Why did IPE develop as a relatively young sub-discipline of International Relations (IR) / Global Politics?
- What are the differences between Mercantilism, Liberalism, and Marxism?
- From which other social science disciplines does IPE borrow theoretical and methodological tools?
The educational goal of this unit is to introduce you to concepts of cooperation in international relations from an international political economy perspective. You will be familiarized with the explanations for cooperation in the international arena provided by meta-theories in international relations studies. This unit is dedicated to the objects of international cooperation, which can analytically be divided into four categories of goods: (1) private goods, (2) public goods, (3) inclusive club goods, and (4) common pool resources. The unit concludes with an introduction to the analysis of domestic sources of international agreements and explains the rationale behind two-level-games.
- What are the different perspectives of neorealism, liberalism, and constructivism regarding actors in the international arena and the purpose of cooperation?
- What are the differences between private goods, public goods, inclusive club goods, and common pool resources with regard to exclusion and rivalry in consumption?
- How do actors in the national arena determine outcomes in international cooperation?
- What is the impact of a ‘win-set’ of varying sizes?
- What is the free-rider phenomenon and why is it a problem in the provision of international goods?
Some of you have learned about globalization’s main problems, challenges, and opportunities throughout the module Changing Global Landscapes: Globalization Challenges. The objective of this unit is to refresh the insights presented in the globalization module and to put everyone on the same page. We will highlight, from an international political economy perspective, crucial developments in the globalization of trade, financial markets, and labor flows.
- How has global trade developed over the last five decades?
- Which trends can be identified regarding inflows of foreign direct investment and portfolio investment?
- What is the role of labor and the division of labor in the global economy?
Part 02: International Trade Theory
The objective of this module is to provide students with advanced knowledge of the main theories, analytical tools, and empirical insights of today’s International Political Economy (IPE). This unit presents the most well-known and accepted theories of international trade. You will engage with reputed scholars, fundamental theorems, and empirical evidence of several theories established around the phenomena of international trade.
- What are the reasons for free trade?
- Does each national economy benefit from international trade? How does a country have to be characterized or endowed to benefit from international trade?
- What are the factors influencing the definition of gains from trade and trade patterns?
- Which micro- and macro-economic variables must be taken into account to fully capture, in an economist’s understanding, international trade relations?
The objective of this module is to provide you with an understanding of political processes and arguments leading to liberalizing or protectionist trade policies. Having established arguments for free trade in Unit 4 and at the beginning of this unit, we will present economic, political, and systemic reasons for trade policy choices. At the end of the unit, you should be able to differentiate national trade policies according to their foundations in economic reasoning, political power plays, and institutional arrangements.
- What are theoretical assumptions supporting free trade?
- What are the arguments brought forward in support of protectionism?
- Why do countries and their societies make a decision for free trade or protectionism respectively?
The objective of this module is to introduce you to the concept of multinational corporations (MNCs) and their growing importance in the international economic arena. MNCs are not only a result, but also a driver of globalization. You will be introduced to features of MNCs and reasons for their development. A particular focus rests on the political power and social responsibility of MNCs.
- What is the role of multinational corporations (MNCs) within an international and globalized economy?
- How did MNCs develop over the last decades?
- Why do companies get engaged in cross-border activities that include physical transfers of capital? Why do companies build large MNCs?
- What are implications of MNCs on the economic setting and political system of home and host country?
Part 03: The International Arena
The educational goal of this unit is to make you familiar with the multilateral trade system. You will learn how the multilateral trade system evolved and how it functions. You will be introduced to core concepts of institutional theory that apply to the GATT and the WTO. Particular emphasis is put on important articles of trade law and dispute settlement at the WTO.
- What were the historical milestones on the way to GATT’s establishment?
- What are the benefits of a multilateral trade system in terms of institutional theory?
- What are main Articles of GATT and what is their purpose?
- How is the WTO structured and how does its dispute settlement mechanism function?
The educational goal of this unit is to introduce you to the economics and the political economy of GATS and TRIPS. You will become familiar with the development of trade in services in the recent past and the reasons for TRIPS. A main part of this unit is dedicated to economic theory on informational goods and intellectual property rights.
- What are the four modes of supply for trade in services?
- Why did the trade in services increase in the recent past?
- What is the objective of GATS?
- Why can the trade of ‘ideas’ be compared to artificially scarce goods?
- What are the reasons that a number of economists criticize the inclusion of TRIPS in the WTO?
The educational goal of this unit is to introduce you to the political economy of regionalism. You will be introduced to the standard Vinerian assumptions on the economic impact of regional trade agreements. Political determinants for the establishment of regional trade agreements will be analyzed. Finally, the question of whether regional agreements represent ‘stepping stones’ or ‘stumbling blocks’ for the multilateral trade system will be discussed.
- Are regional trade agreements economically beneficial?
- What is the difference between deep and shallow integration?
- What political reasons account for the establishment of regional trade agreements?
- How does the proliferation of regional trade agreements influence the development of the WTO?
Part 04: Trade and Human Rights Issues: The Matter of Minimum Labor Standards
In this unit, you will learn how debates about human rights and strategic trade policy are intertwined in calls for international labor standards. This includes important arguments for and against such standards and an understanding of the difficulty of enforcing labor standards through trade sanctions.
- What different motives lie behind calls for international labor standards?
- How are international labor standards dealt with in the WTO and the International Labor Organization?
- Do labor standards affect economic efficiency, production costs, and trade flows?
- Is there unfair competition based on bad working conditions in the world trade system?
- Is there a need to enforce basic human rights through trade sanctions and is there a possibility to do so?
After completing of this unit, students should be able to understand the impact of the international economy, trade, and poverty on the development of a country’s economy. In addition, issues such as income inequality across countries, economic growth, and strategies of development will be covered in this unit.
- Who is poor and who is rich in this world?
- How can poverty and inequality be measured?
- What does development mean? Is it desirable?
- How does economic theory explain economic development?
- What are the strategies used to obtain development in the real world?