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Best Practice: Legislating and Regulating a Better Global Economy


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA International Relations. Students who are interested in taking this course, but who are not admitted to the mentioned master programmes are requested to contact the co-ordinator of studies.


This course provides an overview of global economic thought, focusing on the period from 1945 through the present day. The aim is to provide MAIR students with a better grasp of the spectrum of economic ideas which:

  • Have been tried by global regimes in the last century

  • Are available to policymakers today, and

  • Are emerging for possible application in the future.

Course topics will range from Classical and Neoclassical economics, to Marxism, Command Economies, Neoliberalism, Democratic Socialism, Keynesianism, Development Economics, Asian Economics, Modern Critiques of (Western) Capitalism, the Economics of Inequality, and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Additional Description. The last century has taught us that the economic system is greatly at the mercy of political institutions. Many commentators feel that we now stand at a global economic crossroads, with a potential for change perhaps unequalled since 1945. But what economic policies are best? Which have worked best in the recent past, under what circumstances, and why? What are the main policy options available to governments today? Some economists are calling the failure of Doha in 2015 the ‘end of the second era of globalization.’ Is supranationalism still a good answer going forward? What forms should it take? What role should tax havens be allowed to play? Many economists are becoming increasingly restive about a future which promises resource depletion, environmental unpredictability, growing inequality, and stagnating global population figures, combined with a lack of new markets. Is low growth the ‘new normal’? And Davos 2016 saw global leaders meet on the question of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which additionally threatens to put millions of workers—not only blue collar but also white collar—out of work. What do the next several decades hold for the global economy, and what policy options are being advocated by the brightest and best minds from around the globe? This course will help to keep you up to date and engaged with this vital slate of questions.

Course objectives

This course is focused on teaching students to think critically about events, and understand the complexities of how international organizations function and the role they play in international relations. The aim is both to transmit knowledge and to develop critical analysis faculties, while encouraging students to assess a situation objectively, form a considered opinion, and defend a position. In addition, students should be able to appraise and analyze secondary literature pertinent to each seminar topic from week to week and be able to think broadly about their position on the issue.


Via the website.

Mode of instruction


Course Load

  • 24 Hours of classes (attendance is compulsory)

  • 120 hours of reading and writing of reviews (5 hours per week over 12 weeks)

  • 60 hours to prepare and complete literature and document analyses

  • 30 hours to prepare presentation

  • 46 hours to complete the final essay

Total: 280 Hours for 10 ECTS

Assessment method

Students are expected to:

  • do the pre-assigned readings prior to each class, and participate fully in the discussions. You should bring the readings to class;

  • submit a short discussion paper every week before class (max 1 page) reviewing the main arguments of the pre-assigned readings (no summaries!)

  • submit a proposal for an end of term paper, which contains: research
    question or hypothesis; a 1 page outline, and a preliminary bibliography;

  • write and present end of term paper on a well-defined aspect of the course (max.
    3,500 words).
    The end term paper will only be graded if the student has attended the seminars.


The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.


The resit for the final examined element is only available to students whose mark of the final examined element is insufficient.

Exam review

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for this course.

Reading list


  • Robert Ekelund and Robert Herbert, A History of Economic Theory and Method, 5th Edition (2007).

  • Course Reader (including excerpts from e.g. Engels, Keynes, Schumpeter, Hayek, Friedman, North, De Soto, Sen, Yunus, Chang, Daly, Piketty, Graeber).


  • Backhouse (already on the syllabus)
  • Brandon Dupont, The History of Economic Ideas: Economic Thought in Contemporary Context. (Routledge, 2017).


  • Roger E. Backhouse: Penguin History of Economics (2002).

Some readings will be made available through Blackboard.


Via uSis.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.


Dr. E. Duzgun