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Economic Cultures and Global Flows: Rethinking International Political Economy (PO992)


Topics covered

The following is an indicative list of topics; the precise seminar content and order may change slightly from year to year.

  • Culture and IPE
  • Colonial Encounters
  • Development and Postcoloniality
  • Globalisation, Cosmopolitan Cultures and Global Flows
  • Cultures of Work and (Re-)Production
  • Migration and Transnational Populations
  • Slavery and Forced Migration
  • Tourist Cultures
  • Nations and Currencies
  • Debt and Development
  • Gendered Cultures of Speculation
  • The Cultural Political Economy of Islamic Finance
  • Economies of Exchange
  • Consumption Cultures
  • Media and Communication
  • Carbon Economies
  • Conclusion: Culture as Method

The aim of this module is to permit students to explore the role of culture in contemporary economic processes. The central theme is the impact of globalization on understandings of state-market-society relations, with a particular focus on the concept of ‘culture’ as a determining factor in the global political economy. Empirically, the module moves beyond IPE's traditional concern with mainly Western and mainly advanced (OECD) countries and engages with processes of political, economic and social change on a global level.

Programme content


The module begins with a critical review of the ways in which ‘culture’ has been understood as an analytical concept in International Political Economy and cognate fields. It then investigates the historical processes that have contributed to specific understandings of culture and the ways in which they have structured economic interactions on both regional and global levels. Thereafter, the module will examine the impact of different global flows - flows of money, goods, people and ideas - on different manifestations of economic culture and vice versa. The module concludes by investigating the implications of taking culture seriously for IPE as a field of inquiry and by examining the extent to which the need for new understandings of ‘culture’ as a political force is indicated.

Module Director:
Dr Charoula Tzanakou

CATS: 40

Sample reading list (PDF Document)