Universiteit Leiden

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Global Political Economy (MA)

About the programme

Global Political Economy, a specialisation of the master in International Relations, provides you with a rigorous understanding of the global political economy and the different approaches to its study.

Programme structure

All specialisations (except European Union Studies) follow the same format:

Semester 1 Semester 2
Core course for your specialisation (10 EC) Regionalism in World Politics (5 EC)
Preparatory course for your thesis (5 EC) Elective (10 EC)
Ideas in World Politics (5 EC) Thesis (15 EC)
Elective (10 EC)  

Preparatory course and MA thesis
The preparatory course introduces you to core conceptual, methodological and theoretical issues you meet when you initiate, research, and write your MA thesis. In addition, a series of seminars will enable you to discuss specific issues related to International Relations. Your thesis is supposed to be based on original research that speaks to the core themes of the MA International Relations.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Flipped classrooms
  • Independent research
  • Internship (optional)
  • Thesis
  • Exams
  • Peer feedback and assessment
  • Essays, reports and final thesis
  • Oral presentations
  • Negotiations/role plays
  • Book reviews, content/discourse analyses, position papers and policy briefs

The acquisition of advanced academic skills in the interpretation of texts and the analysis of complex conceptual problems, as well as the ability to independently conduct high-quality scientific research are key goals of the programme. At the same time, we seek to help students acquire and develop skills that see them prepared for a range of careers, whether in national ministries, regional or international organisations, non-governmental organisations, universities, think tanks or private companies. This is achieved through employing innovative teaching and assessment methods, providing opportunities for conversations with practitioners and policymakers and facilitating intra- or extracurricular internships.

Electives/internship Global Political Economy

You may choose electives (20 EC total) from a wide range of specialist courses. You will also have the possibility to exchange one elective for an internship at an organisation / institution in the field of international or foreign relations, in or outside of the Netherlands.

For examples of organisations where students from the MA International Relations programme may find an internship, please check the Career prospects page.

Please note that you will need to find your own internship, follow an internship procedure for approval, and that pursuing an internship may have consequences for the date of graduation.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programme, please check the Prospectus. Please note that this guide applies to the current academic year, which means that the curriculum for next year may slightly differ.

Jonathan London

Researcher and University Lecturer

Jonathan London

"The World Economy reflects the paradoxes of our times: unprecedented wealth along with surging inequality and pervasive insecurity of employment and income; scientific breakthroughs and ecological catastrophe. The Masters of International Relations Global Political Economy specialization provides you with a cutting edge understanding of the world economy and its social and political foundations. The specialization’s departure point is the rejection of the idea that conventional economic approaches form an adequate basis for understanding the world economy. Instead we examine the world economy from different theoretical traditions as well as different geographical and social standpoints. We assert that the world economy is an historically emergent social formation that is and has always been shaped by politics and power relations. Further, we insist that that the analysis of economic growth and trade be accompanied by analysis of the world economy with respect to inequality, wellbeing, and environmental sustainability."

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