General Informations

Relevance of "Global Political Economy"

The globalization of economic, cultural, and political activities has been one of the central and controversial "mega" trends in societal development over the last decade. This vanishing of borders, which will likely continue for decades to come, presents a formidable challenge to a traditional thinking attached to the nation state. A critical understanding of the forms, causes, effects, and avenues for governance of globalization is needed. The requisite knowledge of the dynamics of the world economy, international institutions, and transnational actors is offered by the Master's degree program in "Global Political Economy".

General Features of the Master's degree program

Since 2003 the University of Kassel offers a theory-oriented graduate program in Global Political Economy. The two-year program leads to the degree "Master of Arts (M.A.) in Global Political Economy". The curriculum is oriented on the "International/Global Political Economy" program taught at American, British, and a few northern European universities. According to the International Studies Association, this is one of the fastest growing branches of political science. In Germany, Kassel offers the first curriculum to cover this dynamic field.

The Master's program in Global Political Economy aims to help students to develop a critical understanding of the numerous approaches and themes, and the wide spectrum of actors and processes in the Global Political Economy. It should also enable them to apply this knowledge in practice.

Interdisciplinary Design

The Master's degree program is interdisciplinary in design; the faculties of Social Sciences (Politics and Sociology) and Economics play a prominent role.

International Scope

The student body is truly international: up to 70% of the students come from outside of Germany, from Albania to Vietnam. Lecturers from partner universities (Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil, Rutgers University Newark in the USA, Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India and University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa) periodically offer seminars. The MA GPE provides many exchange possibilities. Erasmus Scholarships are available for all students. Currently the department holds Erasmus contracts with Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (France), Université de Lausanne (Switzerland), University of

Gothenburg (Sweden), University of Umeå (Sweden), University of Surrey (UK), University of Salamanca (Spain), University of Oviedo (Spain), Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), Yildiz Technical University (Turkey), Anadolu University (Turkey), and University of the Aegean (Greece).

DAAD Scholarships are available for German students (Bildungsinländer) for Rutgers University Newark (U.S.) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India).

For international students, the Kassel curriculum may be of special interest as it goes beyond the standard International Political Economy program by elaborating on the EU as an important region in the world economy. International students may also take courses at the Language Center to facilitate their studies. During their stay in Germany, international students can learn German in a four-week intensive course as well as four hours weekly during the semester. Normally, the language courses cost between 20 and 120 €.


A few work-study scholarships are available for students from DAC–recipient countries. Students selected as scholarship holders will have the opportunity to work 40 hours per month in the International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) and receive a grant of 750€ per month for up to twelve months.

International applicants who fulfill the MA GPE admission requirements can ask for a Letter of Preliminary Suitability to apply for a DAAD scholarship before coming to Germany. The DAAD/OSI scholarship is especially popular among GPE students.

Multilingual Curriculum

All core courses and many of the special options courses are taught in English. Course work may be written in either German or English. To improve language competence, students are encouraged to take full advantage of the courses offered by the University of Kassel's Language Center.

Practical Component

Despite its theoretical orientation, MA GPE has important practical components. An internship of at least eight weeks is required for a successful completion of the program. In addition, students have the possibility to join organized field trips taking place within the framework of different classes.

The objective of our special skills courses is to develop key career skills, from language proficiency and presentation techniques to writing research project applications.

International field trips

In the last summer terms the team of ‚Globalization & Politics’ organized international excursions to Brussels or Geneva.

In the preparatory seminars as well as on the field trips we aim to gain a general knowledge of the Political Economy of European Integration (Brussels) and of the role of International Organizations in Global Politics (Geneva). The seminars and field trips generally focus on trade and development issues; we therefore visit different actors in these policy fields. The field trips aim to link theory and practice, offer insights into practical experiences and are part of our efforts to internationalize teaching and learning experiences.

In Geneva we dealt with issues such as the role of the UN Organisations, other International Organizations and NGOs in trade and development policies.

In Brussels we visited EU Institutions (European Parliament, European Commission) and other organizations in Brussels such as Business, NGOs, Trade Unions Organizations and discussed trade and development issues.

The following pictures were taken on the field trip to Brussels in 2010; the short comments reflect the views of some of the students participating in the trip.

Student comments on field trips

Optional; Die Kommentare evtl. weglassen, oder an anderer Stelle

"I absolutely loved the trip to Brussels because it was a unique experience, which provided a clear visualization of issues and processes that we study in our lectures. Being able to see how things that are written in articles work in reality has an enormously positive influence on one's quality of academic research."
(Erkin, Turkmenistan)

“The combination of the interesting block seminar and the field trip link together the academic and the real world and thus show the viewpoint about specific topics from completely different angles. The field trip in Brussels provides extremely useful application of the knowledge gained during the course with the practical experience. It gives the possibility to hear the contrasting argumentation of officials working for the institutions such as European Parliament, European commission and different lobby groups. As for the seminar the information obtained during this course gives the wider scope on the topics that are being discussed during the meetings in Brussels and give the students useful background to ask interesting, challenging and critical questions. At the meantime all the topics that are covered during this seminar represent the vital ones for both developed and developing countries and accordingly are crucial for every student. Accordingly, this course was one of the most interesting ones taken by me personally in the GPE program until now.”
(Ekaterine, Georgia)

It was a great pleasure to participate in the field trip! I very much liked the teaching methods in the seminar on "European Integration". In Brussels we had very interesting meetings in the European Parliament, with the European commission, with lobby groups and NGOs - and there was also time in the evenings to get to see Brussels with my friends - all this about our field trip to Brussels!
(Bakhrom, Uzbekistan)