Content overview

Successful completion of the Master's program in GPE requires:

  • 1. Taking all mandatory seminars (core courses), a certain number of electives (special option courses), as well as special skills courses
  • 2. An internship of at least eight weeks
  • 3. A written Master's thesis
  • 4. An oral presentation of the Master's thesis

Graduate Courses

The following Core Courses (MCC) are offered:

  • Introduction to Globalization (MCC I)
  • International Economics (MCC II)
  • Governance of the World Market: Institutions, Instruments, and Experiences (MCC III)
  • Theories of International Political Economy (MCC IV)
  • GPE Issues: Theories and Evidence (MCC V)
  • Advanced Research Methods and Writings Skills


Special Options Courses (MSOC) are offered in the following fields:

  • (MSOC 1) Advanced Theories of International Political Economy
  • (MSOC 2) Advanced International Economics
  • (MSOC 3) The Impact of Globalization on National and Local Governments
  • (MSOC 4) European Integration
  • (MSOC 5) Global Environmental Politics
  • (MSOC 6) Migration and Global Labor Markets
  • (MSOC 7) The Politics of Development and North-South Relations
  • (MSOC 8) Gender and Globalization
  • (MSOC 9) Issues of Global Governance
  • (MSOC 10) Cultural Aspects of Globalization
  • Independent Studies
  • Student Self-Organized Seminar


Master's Core Courses (MCC)

MCC I: Introduction to Globalization

This core course of the M.A. program Global Political Economy introduces you to the discourses on globalization by dealing with the following questions:

(1) What is globalization? Does the term globalization describe a qualitatively or just a quantitatively new phase of capitalist development?

(2) What are the driving forces behind globalization? Is globalization a product of technological progress, of laws of capitalist development, or of political decisions? What roles do nation states play in bringing globalization about?

(3) What is the impact of globalization? Does globalization lead to shifts in the balance of power between business and state, capital and labor, between the sexes, between "natives" and "migrants", and between "North" and "South"?

(4) Is globalization governable? Can globalization be ignored? Can communities make use of globalization? Or can the rules governing globalization be changed?

Requirement: Students will discuss in small groups the opposing views to the respective questions and will present them afterward in class. In addition, students are asked to answer questions on the required reading (six per student).

MCC II: Introduction to International Economics

This core course will introduce macroeconomic analysis of open economies: the structure of the balance of payments, factors influencing the various segments of the balance of payments, traditional and new approaches to balance of payment adjustments; the pros and cons of various exchange rate regimes, analysis (of the failure) of past exchange rate regimes; partial equilibrium analysis of exchange rates such as purchasing power parity (PPP) and uncovered interest parity (UIP); opportunities and limits of monetary and fiscal policies in open economies; economic theories of currency speculation; proposals for exchange rate stabilization; economic theory of currency integration, the example of the European Monetary System. Requirement: final written exam

MCC III: Governance of the World Markets: Institutions, Instruments, and Experiences

This core course traces the efforts to politically regulate the world markets. It introduces the major institutions and actors of world market governance. The central question will be: What are the preconditions for global governance? It will examine the following historical events: the British gold standard, monetary crisis in the interwar period, the fixed exchange rate regime of Bretton Woods, the failure of the International Trade Organization and the establishment of the GATT, the closing of the "gold window" and the move toward flexible exchange rates, UNCTAD and the "New Economic Order", the failure of global Keynesianism, the Latin American debt crisis and its management, the ozone regime, multilateralism and regional free trade areas, moving from GATT to the WTO, the IMF and the Asian crisis. In addition, the course will introduce two theories: the theory of hegemonic stability and the theory of international regimes.
Requirements: oral presentation and a research paper.

MCC IV: Theories of International Political Economy

This core course will introduce the manifold theoretical approaches, issues, and methods of the field of International Political Economy: neorealism, regime theory, dependency theory, world system theory, and regulation theory as well as approaches from a gender theoretical and constructivist perspective. The lecture will thereby highlight the importance of theory and will give guidance in the handling of theories. In addition, students will learn a critical approach to texts by writing summaries of journal articles and a book review.
Requirements: four summaries of journal articles and one book review

MCC V: GPE Issues: Theories and Evidence

The seminar aims at developing further the links between ‘theory and evidence’ - or theory and case studies. It is a theory-based seminar which at the same time focuses on developing knowledge about academic research strategies. It will therefore also address the issues of how to develop a research question and how to devise a research design. The seminar is designed for 2nd year GPE and other advanced Master students.

Seminars on ‘GPE Issues: Theory and Evidence’ can be linked to very different policy fields of Global Political Economy in which theories, concepts and methodological approaches are being identified. This includes topics like European and Regional Integration Theories or Development Theories.

The Core Course is equivalent to 6 credits.

Advanced Research Methods and Writing Skills

This Core Course gives an overview and deeper insight into social science research methods. Different research methods (qualitative, quantitative, and comparative) will be explored and applied in lectures and small working groups.

The course is designed to prepare students for their empirical work for the Master thesis. It will look at the ontological and epistemological foundations of theories and research processes in social sciences.

Students will learn to develop research questions, hypothesis and research designs and to link these with social science research methods. This entails case studies, comparative studies of country studies or of different policy fields, frame- and discourse analysis, expert interviews, quantitative methods (descriptive statistics, regression analysis), the integration of a gender-perspective into research designs, and academic writing skills for advanced students.

The Core Course is equivalent to 8 credits.


Master's Special Options Courses: some short comments 


Independent Studies

The ‘Independent Studies’ Course is a Special Options Course.

Students from the 3rd semester onwards will be able to apply for ‘independent Studies’, thus, the in-depth analytical study of a topic outside the framework of GPE a seminar or lecture. The application should be handed to the teaching staff with expertise in the thematic field and responsible for a module linked to the topic. Applications should entail a clear outline of the research focus and a detailed reading list. Applications for ‘independent studies’ can be rejected if the grades of the applicants are not good (2,0 in average). Course assessment is a research paper of at least 25 pages. 6 credits can be assigned to the module ‘independent studies’.

Student Self-Organized Seminar

This Special Options Course can be organized by students from the 3rd semester onwards only.

In order to set up such a seminar, there needs to be an application of at least two students and participation by at least three more students.

Teaching staff with competencies in the relevant field of study are possible mentors for these seminars, but can reject an application for organizing a student self organized seminar if the grades of the applicants are not good (2,0 in average). The course assessment (those of all students participating as well as of those students organizing the seminars) will be graded as “passed” by the teaching staff mentoring the seminar. Students participating in the seminar will receive 6 credits, those students organizing and teaching the seminars will receive 2 additional credits.

Special skills course

These primarily focus on language proficiency, writing research papers, composing a research proposal, presentation techniques, computer and Internet skills, as well as empirical research methods in the social sciences.

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.

Group im EP
Group EC

"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)