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International Economics


Admission requirements

This course is only available for students in the BA International Studies.

Limited places are also open for exchange students. Please note: this course takes place in The Hague.


The Course “International Economics” is designed to provide an overview of the international economic situation as it has evolved in recent decades, with a focus on the principal economic problems which bring policymakers and businesspeople together. The focus will be truly global in nature, insofar as the issues tackled will be of equal import to students who will be working in any area of the globe. The course assumes that, as International Studies majors, students will be most interested in the role of policymaking for government or NGOs, but it will also provide training relevant to a future role as a business executive.
The course will seek to provide an overview of global trade flows, and of the primary international and national institutions which have a hand in regulating these. Something of the history of major institutions (such as the IMF), and major agreements, such as GATT/WTO, will be addressed. In addition, microeconomic analyses of individual firms and sectors will be incorporated into lectures and tutorials. Each week, the primary foci of the course will be the intersection between national and international interests in the global economy, and the intersection between corporate and sector interests with national and international regulation. Specific problems to be addressed include Foreign Direct Investment, Trade Policy, Lobbying, Balance of Payments issues, Exchange Rate Regulation, and Debt Crises. The theory, policy tools, and outcomes of intervention by governments and corporations in each of these arenas will be explained, with the aim of providing students with a sense of precisely what problems, and what solutions, they can expect to encounter as members of international government and business administrations.

Course objectives

This course builds on the students’ previous experience with macroeconomics and area economics, by first addressing relevant microeconomic theory to compliment their previous experience. The macro, micro, and area economic knowledge that students have acquired will then serve as a background to introduce some of the more specific problems of international economics.
Students learn to develop a basic familiarity with key institutions in the global economy, and with some of the history of how the current globalized economy got to the stage it is at. They also become familiar with the primary spheres in which governmental and corporate interests interact at the national and international levels, and most importantly, with the main policy tools which are available to governments regarding the regulation of business.
Another goal of this course is to allow students to capitalize on the area studies economics courses which they had in the previous semester, and to note how the problems faced by their area in fact have echoes and parallels now throughout the global economy. Many of the concepts introduced in previous economics courses, such as Balance of Payments issues, will now be explored and explained in more depth, so that students will now be able to understand, on a theoretical and practical level, why these issues matter to many of the world’s most powerful people.
It is understood that many students will find the concepts in our International Economics textbook to be disconcerting, at first. A major goal of this course is to walk students though these concepts each week, in clearly-constructed and nonthreatening lectures, with the goal of helping to empower students with the knowledge that even something as seemingly impenetrable as ‘international economics,’ can become comprehensible to them. It is therefore hoped that students will realize that economics is an indispensable, and largely comprehensible, part of the international regulatory system.


The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Lecture and tutorials
Attending lectures and tutorials is compulsory. If you are not able to attend a lecture or tutorial, please inform the tutor of the course. Being absent without notification can result in a lower grade or exclusion from the final exam or essay.

Course Load

Total course load for the course is 5 EC x 28 hours is 140 hours, broken down by:
Lectures: 24 hours
Tutorials: 8 hours
Lecture Prep: 36 hours
Tutorial Prep: 12 hours
Paper: (research/writing): 20 hours
Tutorial Presentation prep: 6 hours
Exam Study (17 hrs each): 34 hours

Assessment method

Tutorials 30% (including paper and presentation)
Midterm Exam 30%
Final Exam 40%

If the final grade is insufficient (lower than a 6), there is the possibility of retaking the full 70% of the exam material, replacing both the earlier mid- and endterm grades. No resit for the tutorials is possible.

To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

  • S. Beugelsdijk, et al., International Economics and Business: Nations and Firms in the Global Economy, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, 2014).

(N.B.: there are additional readings for the tutorials, which are detailed in the Tutorial Guidelines [called the Student Guidelines, found in the ‘course documents’ folder in Blackboard.)


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Hum – OSZ Internationa Economics: