Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE International Financial Institutions

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This course will examine global economic governance and how it has evolved since WWII. The main focus is on International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and their role in managing the world economy and dealing with disequilibria and crises.

Study-unit Aims:

1) Familiarize the students with the international financial and economic system since the Second World War, with a particular emphasis on the role, functions and structure of IFIs (i.e. the Bretton Woods institutions and various regional arrangements).

2) Examine the role of IFIs according to the main theories of international institutions (Realist theory, Functionalism, Neoliberal/Institutionalist theory, Constructivism).

3) Study how the IFIs have acted in a number of specific cases, ranging from cases of importance for the evolution of the IFIs and critiques of them to recent cases.

4) Review the main critiques of the IFIs and attempts at reform, including critiques following the most recent financial crisis.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Sarah Babb (2009) Behind the Development Banks: Washington Politics, World Poverty, and the Wealth of Nations University of Chicago Press

Michael Barnett Martha Finnemore (2004) Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics Cornell University Press (selected chapters)

Barry Eichengreen (2008) Globalizing Capital: A History of the International Monetary System (Second Edition), Princeton University Press (selected chapters)

Richard Peet (2009) Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO, Zed Books; 2nd edition
James Raymond Vreeland (2006). The International Monetary Fund: Politics of Conditional Lending Routledge

Ngaire Woods (2006). The Globalizers: The IMF, the World Bank, and Their Borrowers Cornell Studies in Money

Other reading as assigned.


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation Yes 25%
Examination (1 Hour) Yes 75%

LECTURER/S Theresa Fenech

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.