Specialization in International Political Economy – Københavns Universitet

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Specialization in International Political Economy


The Specialization in International Political Economy is designed for students who want to know more about how power operates in the global economy. It provides students with a strong basis in the theoretical traditions of IPE and how they have evolved (often as a result of dramatic shifts in economic conditions), the history of the global economy, and the empirical problems of the contemporary world economy. In so doing, it seeks to equip students with the knowledge and analytical skills to address some of the most pressing problems of our age – why are there such enormous gaps between rich and poor? How do international systems of money and finance work, and why do they produce such dramatic crises? Can democratic oversight of capitalism really achieve anything in an era of globalization?

Students who participate will become part of the Department’s thriving research group in International Political Economy, which also has strong links with the Centre of European Politics (CEP) and also features researchers from elsewhere in the Department of Political Science and NIAS. The specialisation will feature a series of informal seminars to give students access not only to academics, but to former students and professionals now working with political economy topics outside of academia, and emphasise the links between IPE and the real world.   


The Specialization is organised via a core course (15 ECTS), team taught between the core teaching team in IPE, which runs during the whole 14 weeks of the semester but with the majority of teaching hours in the first 7 weeks (6 hours per week until Easter, followed by 2 hours per week thereafter). Students can then choose to take 15 ECTS points from a series of 7.5 ECTS options which run either throughout the whole semester, or as an intensive ‘block’ in the second half of the semester. These latter courses are tailored to build on the knowledge acquired in the first half of the core course, and assume a more ‘advanced’ level of preparation than standard courses taught in the department. Students then complete the specialisation by submitting a Master thesis on an IPE topic (30 ECTS).

This specialization has been designed to allow students to follow their interests, and enrol on specialized optional courses within the scope of the programme. However, we recognise that this entails that students won’t necessarily see the same faces on every module. To address this, we will organise a regular meeting slot, once every two weeks, for staff and students on the specialisation to get together. In some weeks, this will simply be an informal catch up. In others, we will offer assignment workshops, guest speakers (both academic and professional), and excursions. The aim of this is to foster community and employability. We will help students with their academic progress and assignment work, build networks, and ensure that students feel confident using and narrating their new skills in the workplace. This extra support will run alongside the core programme.

Semester 1

Semester 2 *

Mandatory (15 ECTS):

  •   Theory and issues in IPE (14 weeks)

Mandatory (30 ECTS):

  • MSc Thesis in International Political Economy

Optional (7.5   ECTS):

  • Advanced political economy of the EU (7 weeks)
  • Globalization and the European Union (14 weeks)
  • Multipolarity, multilateralism and mega-trade agreements (7 weeks)
  • The politics of international banking (7 weeks)
  • Understanding Neoliberalism: Introduction to theories of Neoliberalism in IPE (14 weeks)
  • The politics and economics of aid (7 weeks)

* NB: the thesis does not need to be completed immediately after the teaching, in fall 2016, but can be deferred if necessary
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Students completing the specialisation will gain valuable analytical skills, as an understanding of the global economy is currently in high demand across a number of public and private sector institutions. They will appreciate how to relate different theoretical debates over the economy to practical examples and case studies, and will be able to choose particular areas of interest to become expert in via the optional courses and the thesis.

International Students

The Specialization in IPE is open to both Danish and international students. All courses and activities will be conducted in English. International students who only visit the department for a limited period of time (typically one semester) may be eligible for a “certificate in IPE.” To obtain such a certificate, international students must complete all coursework except for the MSc thesis.


  • Registration for specialization via self-service during the registration period
  • Registration for specialization core courses via self-service during the registration period


With any general questions, please contact Associate Professor Jens Ladefoged Mortensen or Assistant Professor Holly Snaith.

This information meeting has now passed. However, you can find all the information, and ask questions, at the facebook group.
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