Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE International Economics

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is intended to provide the necessary economic background to students undertaking studies in international relations. It introduces fundamental economic concepts and core issues in the area of international economics. Examples related to the field of international relations are provided throughout the study-unit in order to explain better the relevance and intuition underpinning the various economic concepts that are discussed. Topics and themes to be covered in this study-unit include:
- The role, determinants and effects of international trade;
- The concept of international competitiveness;
- Determinants of FDI and growth;
- Exchange rate regimes and currency crises;
- Macroeconomic imbalances in the EU;
- The global financial crisis;
- Empirical results and macroeconomic data analysis.

The unit addresses questions such as: Why do countries trade? What type of goods are traded? What explains trade patterns? Which countries are more attractive to set up business? Why do countries have different exchange rate systems? Can a currency crisis be predicted? What has contributed to the global financial crisis? How can you compare economies in terms of strengths and weaknesses?

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of the study-unit is to familiarise students with basic international economic models, theories and issues, and how these relate to the field of international relations. The study-unit aims at helping the students understand the following: Why do countries trade? What goods do countries trade? What are the implications of openness for the location of production, industries, occupations, and innovative activity?

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Perform basic economic analysis; and
- Follow up on economic debates.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Utilise knowledge of international economics in order to assess how this impacts on the relations between state and non state actors in the international regime;
- Evaluate the validity and consistency of arguments presented; and
- Conduct basic independent research.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Textbooks on international economics:

- Paul Krugman et al. (2012) International Economics Theory and Policy.
- James Gerber (2013) International Economics.
- Steven Husted et al. (2013) International Economics.

Other references*:

- UNCTAD - World Investment Report available on:
- World Trade Organisation - World Trade Report available on:
- EU Commission Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure available on:
- World Economic Forum - The Global Competitiveness Report 2013 - 2014 available on:
- IMF Back to Basics available on:

Macroeconomic Databases:

- European Central Bank
- Eurostat
- World Bank

*Additional references on specific topics will be provided during lectures.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Malcolm Bray

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.