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MA in International Political Economy

International Political Economy (IPE) is a field of enquiry concerned with the distribution of power, wealth and agency in a rapidly changing and contested global context. IPE asks questions like ‘who gets what why and how?’, ‘what structures underpin the distribution of capability in the world?’, ‘how might such arrangements be changed or be in a process of changing?’, and and ‘what is the relationship between states and markets, politics and economics?’

The study of IPE has a long and venerable tradition at the University of Warwick and PAIS can boast leading figures in the discipline, like Susan Strange and Richard Higgott, as founder members of the IPE research group.

Programme content

With such a diverse range of interest, IPE encourages a plural and often eclectic approach to study. Throughout the course, you will be introduced to the principal theoretical currents in IPE – like Realism, Liberalism and Constructivism – as well as more critical approaches – such as Marxism, Feminism and Post-Colonialism. You will be equipped to use these theories to engage with a range of important issue areas in IPE, including finance, production, consumerism, and the environment.

The MA core course ‘Theories and Issues in International Political Economy’ provides a comprehensive introduction to the main theoretical approaches and most pressing political issues in the discipline. Questions include:

  • What is power? And where does it lie?
  • What is the relationship between politics and economics and how should we understand the relationship between states and markets?
  • How will global capitalism, and the nexus of regulatory institutions within which it is embedded, transform social, political and economic relations in the 21st Century?
  • What is the future of the state, the market and civil society in this changing world?

The MA in IPE is a truly global program and often attracts students from all over the world. Students benefit from a pluralist and engaging intellectual environment and are able to choose from a selection of cutting edge options in trade, finance, development, and global governance. PAIS is host to regular high profile events run though our Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR) and students often attend these or one of the numerous guest lectures and public debates run by the IPE research group.

Further information

About the course

Programme Director:
Tobias Pforr

Core module
Optional modules
Entry requirements



The student experience

"Since starting work, I’ve found the breadth and diversity of the MA IPE degree incredibly useful. As a sovereign risk analyst I’ve been able to apply numerous techniques and examples I picked up from the course with respect to both developed and emerging economies. In addition, the course attracts students from a huge variety of backgrounds, which prepared me excellently for working in a multi-disciplinary institution."

- Andrew Watters, MA International Political Economy

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