Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Winter 2011-12

Politics of the Global Economy



Professor TERRENCE CASEY OFFICE: Moench A 209
PHONE: 877-8281 RHIT Mailbox: #93
E-Mail: HOURS:  MTRF, 3rd Hour or drop-in.

The purpose of this course is to introduce you the key theoretical approaches and substantive issues of the politics of the global economy. After examining the core theories and concepts of the international political economy (IPE), we will review recent major trends, with a particular emphasis on globalization and the international financial crisis. The subject matter inherently draws attention to the intersection of politics (states) and economics (markets). The overarching focus is thus on how political choices made by state actors alter economic outcomes and, alternately, how the operation of international markets shapes the options available to political leaders.

 TEXTS: The following texts are available for purchase at the campus bookstore.

David N. Balaam & Michael Dillman, Introduction to International Political Economy, 5th Edition. (Companion Site)

Thomas Oatley, Debates in International Political Economy. 2ndEdition.

 As we will begin every class with a brief discussion of current events, you should also regularly read one of the main international news sources. Your best bet is the weekly magazine The Economist, which offers comprehensive yet easily readable coverage. Most of the magazine can be read free online at (you need a subscription for some content). Quality daily papers include the New York Times (, Washington Post ( and Financial Times (

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Your grade for the course will be based on the following --

(A) THREE EXAMS (65% total). The exams will be on Tuesday, December 20th and Friday January 27th (20% each) and a final exam (25%).  Exams will include a mix of objective and analytical questions, including essays, drawn from both the readings and the lectures. The format for the final will be similar to the other two exams, but also include comprehensive essay questions.

(B) DEBATES PAPER (15%). At various points in the course we will be discussing the chapters in Thomas Oatley, Debates in International Political Economy, 2nd ed. Your job in the paper is to explore the respective sides of one of these debates and make a persuasive argument of your own, which may or may not correspond with the arguments presented in the text. You may choose any topic in Debates in International Political Economy, whether we discuss it in class or not. In order to make your argument persuasive, you need to provide appropriate factual evidence to support your claims. (NOTE: You may not, under any circumstances, cite Wikipedia!) All papers are due no later than Monday, February 13th (start of 10th Week).


(C) BOOK REVIEW (20%). In order to give you a more in-depth look at important current debates related to the international economy, you are required to read and review one of the following books:

Thomas L. Friedman & Michael Mandelbaum, That Used to be Us: How American Fell Behind in  the World it Invented and How We Can Come Back, Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2011.

Jeremy Rifkin, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.

Mark Steyn, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, Regnery, 2011.

Michael Spence, The Next Convergence: The Future of Economic Growth in a Multispeed World, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2011.

 All four are relatively inexpensive and available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers. You should order you book immediately and you are strongly advised to have it read by the time we return from the winter break. Details of the review assignment will be handed out separately. The paper will be due on Monday, January 16th (start of 6th Week).


EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: If you turn in your paper (book review or debates paper) by Monday, January 9th, you will have the option to revise and resubmit your paper for a potentially higher grade.

 Professor Casey's Homepage (including links for current events and research)

PDF of the Course Syllabus                 

Key Dates

First Exam

Exam #1 Study Guide

Friday, December 20th  

Book Review Due

Monday, January 16th

Second Exam

Exam #2 Study Guide

Friday, January 28th

Debates Paper Due

Monday, February 13th

Final Exam

Final Exam Study Guide



Links to the PowerPoint slides for the lectures and assignments will be added as the course progresses.

Other readings listed can be downloaded in PDF from the Logan Library's  Academic Search Premier Database. This is available on the drop-down menu of databases on the library's main page. Please note that it is usually easiest to find the article if you search by both author and title.




A. What is International Political Economy (IPE)?


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 1

 Thomas Friedman, "India v. Indiana: Who is Exploiting Whom?" from The World Is Flat, pp. 203-208. [Handout]

B. Theoretical Approaches


1. Liberalism


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 3

Oatley Chapter 1


2. Mercantilism


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 2

Oatley, Chapter 12

3. Structuralism


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 4

C. Concepts


1. Trade and the Balance of Payments

Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 6

 Oatley, Chapter 2

2. International Monetary System


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 7

Oatley, Chapter 11

3. Foreign Debt and Financial Crises


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 8

Terrence Casey, "Crisis, Capitalism, and a Zombie Named TINA," in Terrence Casey, ed. The Legacy of The Crash [Handout]

Oatley, Chapter 10

 Niall Ferguson -- The Ascent of Money (Video)

4. Transnational Corporations and International Investment


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 17

Oatley, Chapter 8


5. Knowledge and Technology

Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 10





A. The Origins of Globalization


Robert O'Brian and Marc Williams, Global Political Economy, 2nd Ed, Chapters 2-4 [Handout]

The Commanding Heights, Part I: "The Battle of Ideas" (Video)


B. Globalization Explained

Andrew McGrew, "The Logics of Globalization," in John Ravenhill, Global Political Economy, 3rd Ed. [Handout]

C. The Future of Globalization


Moises Naim, "Think Again -- Globalization," Foreign Policy, March/April 2009 [Library]

Oatley, Chapter 16





A. The Study of Comparative Capitalisms


Terrence Casey, "Mapping Stability and Change in Advanced Capitalisms," Comparative European Politics, July 2009 [Handout]

B. The Contours of American Capitalism Anne-Marie Slaughter, "America's Edge: Power in the Networked Century," Foreign Affairs, January/February 2009 [Library].
Gideon Rachman, "Think Again -- American Decline," Foreign Policy, January/February 2011 [Library].

C. Europe and the Political Economy of Regionalism

Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 12



D. Japan's The Lost Decade: A Warning for America?


Richard Katz, "The Japan Fallacy," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2009 [Library]


D. The Rising Powers -- India and China


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 13

Arvind Subramian, "The Inevitable SUperpower," Foreign Affairs, September/ October, 2011 [Library].

Oatley, Chapter 15.


E. Economic and Political Development in the Middle East


Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 14

F. Third World Development and the 'North-South Gap

Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 11

 Oatley, Chapter 13

 Hernando de Soto -- The Power of the Poor (Video)





A. Markets and the Environment

Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 20

Oatley, Chapter 6

 B. Markets and Migration

 Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 16

Oatley, Cha[ter 4

C. Markets and Energy


 Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 19

D. Illegal Markets

Balaam and Dillman, Chapter 15