POL 235

International Political Economy: Rich and Poor Nations
CRN: 11561

Use CRN: 14259 to register for the course at myPurdue website.

Video Introduction

Course Image

Course Image

Course At A Glance

16 weeks

15-20 hours of work per week

Schedule Type: Distance Learning

Instructional Method: Online
(This section is delivered 100% online)

Format: The course is entirely online, and so you can do this course anywhere that you can get access to a reliable internet connection, and you do not have to come to campus at all.

Assessments: There are 6 online exams in this course and a final five page essay. The course assignments have deadlines, but there is nothing in the course that requires you to be on your computer at a specific time. This means that you can arrange your course work around other things you are doing.

Course Instructor


Dwayne Woods

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About the Course

This course is an introduction to International Political Economy (IPE). IPE is a field of study that intersects with international relationship, comparative politics, policy studies and economics. In this class you will study the structures, agents and relations of the global economy from four different IPE perspectives. The main thematic focus of the course is the relationship between IPE and the gap between rich and poor nations. Thus, we begin the course with an overview of the gap. And then we move onto four perspectives that encompass ideas, theories, ideologies, norms, and political economy models that help us understand and explain how the international system works and in whose favor. Throughout the semester we will use the perspectives to explore international trade, the international monetary system, multinationals as well as foreign direct investment and nature and for reason for the gap between rich and poor nations. This online course will look to answer some tough questions, like what is the source of global inequality, can global migration solve the gap between rich and poor nations, is the international system of trade and finance responsible for the gap between nations, what is the role of global "powers" in shaping how the global system works and in whose favor, and why some countries like South Korea and now China developed so rapidly while others seem to be "trapped" in poverty.

Course Goals

What I Expect From You:

  • Take advantage of the learning modules and the material within them.
  • Complete all assignments on time. That is, take your tests when they arescheduled and turn in your essay assignments when they are due
  • Keep up with the readings and videos

What to Expect From Me:

  • Well organized learning modules
  • Clear lessons plans and learning objectives
  • Exams and essays graded promptly and accurately
  • Prompt response to questions and issues that arise

Skills obtained

  • a good vocabulary of IPE terms and concepts
  • an ability to explain complex events
  • a basic understanding of economic models
  • critical analysis and writing skills

Learning Resources

There is an etext that has been written and designed specially for this course. A link to the text is available online. It costs $25.

Sample Assignment

Understanding how the international system shapes the gap between rich and poor countries is a major component of the class. To this end, we explore international processes such as trade and capital flows. In our examination on trade, we explore different perspectives on the pros and cons of international trade. A short analytical essay is assigned as a way for you to think through the relationship between trade and its relationship to rich and poor nations.

Sample Question:

You have been introduced to four different perspectives on the international political economy. Pick one of these perspectives and write a short essay on how they account for the effect on trade on rich and poor nations. Does the perspective suggest that trade play a key role in reducing the gap or increasing it?