Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit explores how politics and economics are fundamentally connected. By locating key economic issues and questions in their broader political context, you will explore the evolution of the global political economy, and consider how it has been shaped by powerful states, such as the US and China, and influential institutions, like the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. This unit enables students to understand the uneven nature of economic development, the persistence of poverty and inequality, as well as disputes over trade and the everyday impacts of international financial crises. By completing this unit, students can (1) develop a comprehensive understanding of the contemporary dynamics and historical evolution of the global political economy; and (2) evaluate competing explanations of its operation.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics; International Relations major sequences
  • Level 2 option in the Political Science and International Relations major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) describe the evolution and operation of the major institutions, actors, and processes of the global political economy; (2) critically analyse influential ideas and concepts in global political economy and demonstrate an understanding of their significance; (3) creatively apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to independently and collaboratively address challenges and issues in the global political economy; (4) competently apply basic Political Science and International Relations research methods and skills to designing and executing research about the global political economy; and (5) effectively communicate knowledge, ideas, analyses and arguments about the global political economy in a variety of formats.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) analytical assignment and (2) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Kelly Gerard
Unit rules
12 points of Social Sciences and/or Humanities study at level 1
POLS3320 International Political Economy
Advisable prior study
Students should ideally have studied level 1 units of the Major.
Contact hours
up to 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.