International Political Economy

Prof. Ling Chen remarks at SAIS conference
U.S. Strategy in the Arctic
Andrew Cheon
"Will Africa Feed China?"- Dr. Deborah Brautigam
John Kay Book Launch
International Political Economy
Debating Trade Policy
From Johns Hopkins SAIS to Treasury Secretary
Solving the 2008 Financial Crisis
Europe Debates, No. 5, January 2015
Book Publication: "Demanding Devaluation"
Prof. Pavithra Suryanarayan and John D. Huber
The Future of the Euro
Why Choose International Political Economy?

"China's New Economic Plans: Implications for China, Asia and the Global Economy" - remarks by Professor Ling Chen
China's New Economic Plans: Implications for China, Asia and

Council on Foreign Relations Appoints APSA Award Winner, Charles F. Doran
Independent Task Force on U.S. Strategy in the Arctic


Discussants - Professor Ling Chen, Johns Hopkins SAIS and Dr Amadon Sy, Brookings Institute

Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance

Home to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, next door to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Peterson Institute, and Brookings

Opportunities to discuss policy questions with world business leaders

Tim Geithner '85, former US Treasury Secretary

Events and opportunities for trips to discuss financial issues with foreign government leaders

Professor Erik Jones: European Investment Bank Institute: Getting the Story Right: How You Should Choose Between Different Interpretations of the European Crisis (And Why You Should Care)
View Weekly

Professor David A. Steinberg - Exchange Rate Politics in the Developing World (June 2015)
More - "Ethnic inequality and the ethnification of political parties: Evidence from India"
View Paper

Matthias Matthijs and Mark Blyth Combine political with economic analysis, emphasizing the political economy aspects of the euro problem, experience, and likely future(s)

IPE is at the intersection between international politics and economics, an area well suited to complement the strong international economics requirements in the MA degree.

Cross-Listed IPE Classes
Seminar in Politics & Political Economy
Fall 2017
Spring 2018
Events Calendar


International Political Economy (IPE) fills the conceptual and analytic void between international economics and international security. It includes the study of comparative political economy—the cross-polity examination of national economies regarding, for example, the institutional nature of banking systems. IPE includes the study of large policy issues such as political inequality within and between countries and across time. It includes the examination of financial booms and busts and of financial crises. It looks at whether gross domestic product (GDP) or per capita wealth is the more useful index of national power.

Focusing on such matters as whether foreign aid or foreign investment is the better source of economic growth, IPE also encompasses the study of governance within international trade and financial and political regimes. IPE is the natural framework for the study of political risk and its application to investment decisions and to finance. These are all areas that SAIS has traditionally incorporated into its curriculum and that align the program with SAIS’s mission.

9/15/2015 IPE Lecture Series: Charles Doran -"Why International Political Economy is at the Heart of World Order in the 21st Century”
9/15/2015 IPE Lecture Series: Charles Doran -"Why International Political Economy is at the Heart of World Order in the 21st Century”
9/15/2015 IPE Lecture Series: Charles Doran -"Why International Political Economy is at the Heart of World Order in the 21st Century”
9/22/2015 IPE Lecture Series: David Steinberg - "Interest Group Pressures and Currency Crises”
9/22/2015 IPE Lecture Series: David Steinberg - "Interest Group Pressures and Currency Crises”
9/22/2015 IPE Lecture Series: David Steinberg - "Interest Group Pressures and Currency Crises”
11/3/2015 IPE Lecture series: Andrew Cheon - “On Whose Terms? Understanding the Global Expansion of National Oil Companies”
11/3/2015 IPE Lecture series: Andrew Cheon - “On Whose Terms? Understanding the Global Expansion of National Oil Companies”
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  • Masha
    James Anderson Adjunct Professor, Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies
    Bologna, Italy




International Political Economy | MA Requirements

International Political Economy Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2017-2018

Students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 courses (48 credits) or 14 courses (56 credits) as approved by Academic Affairs.



Students concentrating in International Political Economy (IPE) must take a minimum of 4 courses within this program, including at least 2 of the following:

  • SA.610.700 International Political Economy of Emerging Markets
  • SA.610.717 Politics of International Economy
  • SA.610.701 Political Economy of Inequality
  • SA.610.702 Political Economy in the Shadow of Conflict
  • SA.610.732 International Political Economy
  • SA.610.735 Risk in the International Political Economy
  • SA.610.736 Advanced Topics in International Political Economy
  • SA.610.752 Major Ideas in Political Economy
  • SA.610.770 Comparative Political Economy

The remaining 2 can be from any of the IPE SA.610.XXX courses or IPE cross-listed courses.



Students must also fulfill the requirements for International Relations (IR), which include 2 additional courses from 2 different IR Areas or Policy Areas other than IPE. These areas include:

IR Areas:

  • Conflict Management
  • Global Theory and History
  • International Law and Organizations

Policy Areas:

  • Energy, Resources and Environment
  • Strategic Studies

IR students studying at SAIS Europe must take at least 3 IR courses in Washington with the exception of dual-degree or advanced-standing students, who must take at least 2 IR courses in Washington.



Students must complete 16 credits. The four required courses are:

  • Microeconomics
  • Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent: Microeconomics)
  • International Trade Theory (prerequisite: Microeconomics)
  • International Monetary Theory (prerequisite: Macroeconomics)

If a student passes a waiver exam in one of these areas, the student must take a replacement International Economics program course(s) to fulfill the concentration requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term will have the concentration reduced to 12 credits, but still must complete Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory (or a replacement course(s) if waiver exam(s) passed). The Pre-Term Microeconomics course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.

Beyond the requirements, many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

Concentration GPA Requirement
Students must achieve a combined GPA of at least 2.67 in four (or three if Microeconomics is passed in Pre-Term) required International Economics program courses or they must retake the course(s) until a 2.67 concentration GPA is achieved. In the standard case, the concentration GPA will be the average of the grades of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory, and International Monetary Theory.

If one or more of the four standard courses is waived, the school will use the highest grade(s) from any eligible replacement International Economics program course(s) to compute the International Economics concentration GPA.



Students must complete one course from the list below.

  • Statistical Methods for Business & Economics 
  • Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
  • Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
  • Risk Analysis and Modeling
  • Quantitative Global Economics (prerequisite International Monetary Theory)
  • Credit Markets & Credit Risk (prerequsite Corporate Finance)

Students may not double-count the same course toward the Quantitative Reasoning requirement and as an International Economics concentration course and vice-versa.

If a student passes the statistics waiver exam, the student must take an alternate course from the list above to fulfill the Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Starting with the entering class of Fall 2017, students who pass Statistical Methods for Business & Economics in Pre-Term will have fulfilled the Quantitative Reasoning requirement. The Pre-Term course is not for credit and is not factored into the GPA.



All students must pass 2 core courses and/or exams from the subjects below. IPE concentrators must pass Theories of International Relations as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the core courses/exams are not completed by the start of the final semester, the student no longer has the option of completing the exam and must enroll in the core course(s) for credit.

  • American Foreign Policy Since World War II
  • Comparative Politics
  • Evolution of the International Systems
  • Theories of International Relations



MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in a second language. This language must be offered at the school. Students whose native language is not English may use English as their proficiency language. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering the school, even if not using English for proficiency.



International Political Economy concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:

  • A twenty-page research paper, approved by the director, whose focus and subject matter is on international political economy.
  • A twenty-page written report that draws conclusions about international political economy based on an internship undertaken while at the school.
  • Taking and passing SA.610.702 Political Economy in the Shadow of Conflict. Note: this new option for academic year 2017-2018 is available to all currently enrolled IPE concentrators. 
  • MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors- if eligible).


Entering Class 2016-2017
Entering Class 2015-2016


International Political Economy Minor Requirements:

  • 3 IPE courses (12 credits) including:
    • 1 course from the list of required courses for the IPE concentration
    • 2 additional IPE (or cross-listed) courses (8 credits)
  • Passing Theories of International Relations as one of the two core requirements is highly recommended

General Minor Requirements:

  • MA students may pursue an optional minor in a policy or regional program. A student cannot pursue a minor in General IR or International Economics, but can pursue a Specialization in International Economics
  • A student can have only one minor and can declare a minor at any time prior to graduation.
  • Students do not receive bidding priority for a minor.
  • All minors require three courses. Some minors require a specific course(s) and/or language proficiency.
  • A student may use a maximum of one applicable cross-listed course (4 credits) toward both a minor AND concentration requirements. In the IR or Asia concentrations, the cross-listed course must be from the primary concentration area and not from the 2 additional required courses in the other IR or Asia areas.
  • General IR concentrators can minor in an IR area or policy area (Conflict Management, Global Theory and History, International Law and Organizations, International Political Economy, Energy, Resources, and Environment, or Strategic Studies) by completing 2 additional area/policy courses (8 credits) beyond the 1 used toward the concentration.

To add or change a minor, please click HERE.

Cross-Listed IPE Classes

  • SA.400.819  Fin’l Sector Developments and Reform in Emerging Markets
  • SA.755.730  Asian Geopolitics and Political Economy
  • SA.810.718  The Southern Cone Countries of Latin America: Political Economy of Extremes
  • SA.400.776  Managing & Delivering Development Assistance
  • SA.200.712  America, Europe and the World Political Economy
  • SA.400.774  Financial Crises, Emerging Markets and Policy Dilemmas
  • SA.400.774  Financial Crises, Emerging Markets and Policy Dilemmas
  • SA.680.756  Politics & Econ. of Int'l Energy
  • SA.680.759  Facing the Oil Problem: The United States, Canada, OPEC and the World
  • SA.710.720  The Political Economies of Central and Eastern Europe
  • SA.710.907  European Financial Markets
  • SA.710.946  West European Political Economies
  • SA.750.740  China's Political Economy in Transition
  • SA.755.722  Political Economy and Development Strategies in East Asia
  • SA.760.750  The Japanese and Korean Political Economies in Comparative Perspective
  • SA.770.611  Political Economy of Indonesia
  • SA.780.648  Political Economy of African Development
  • SA.790.724  Political Economy of India
  • SA.790.820  Comparative Political & Economic Development in South Asia
  • SA.810.719  Mexico: Leading or Lagging as a Global Emerging Economy (2-credit)
  • SA.810.796  Economic Survey of Latin America: Global Players or Market Strayers
  • SA.810.907  Latin America's Political Economy: Pathways to Development
  • SA.840.705  The Political Economy of Federalism in North America
  • SA.840.710  Comparative Canadian and U.S. Energy Policy

Seminar in Politics & Political Economy

The Johns Hopkins SAIS Research Seminar Series in Politics and Political Economy brings together the political science and international relations faculty in a bi-weekly seminar, which features the work of both the school and outside scholars.

In the series, both junior and established scholars of comparative politics and international political economy present their "research in progress," in a lively exchange of ideas between presenter and audience, which includes faculty, MA and PhD students, as well as policymakers and researchers from the broader Washington, DC community.

The seminar meets on Tuesdays from 4:30pm to 6:00pm in BOB 736 (7th floor, Johns Hopkins University, 1717 Massachusetts Avenue NW)

Coffee and light refreshments are served.

For more information, and to be added to our email list, please email Chynna Oliver.

Fall 2017

September 26
                    Rachel Wellhausen, Assistant Professor, Department of Government 
                    University of Texas at Austin
                    "The Price of Doing Business: How Upfront Costs Deter Political Risk" 

October 10
*This event is co-sponsored by Intiative of Sustainable Energy Policy (ISEP)*
                     Paasha Mahdavi
, Assistant Professor, School of Public Policy
                    Georegtown University
                    "Taking back the well: The Shah's re-nationalization of Iranian oil in 1973" 

November 7
                   Christina Schneider, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science 
                  University of California San Diego  
“Toward Responsive Governance: National Elections and European Cooperation”

November 14
                Thomas Oatley, Corasaniti-Zondorak Chair of International Relations, Department of Political Science
               Tulane University
               "Banker to the World: Global Capital and America’s Financialization"



Spring 2018

February 6
                  Sylvia Maxfield, Dean, School of Business
                 Providence College

February 13
                 Peter KatzensteinWalter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor, Department of International Studies 
                Cornell University

February 20
               John Campbell, Chair, Department of Sociology 
              Dartmouth College

February 27
              S.P. Harish, Assistant Professor, Department of Government
              College of William & Mary

March 6
             Tana Johnson, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science
             Duke University

April 3
Melanie Manion, Vor Broker Family Professor, Department of Political Service
Duke University

April 10
David Singer, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

April 17
Joint Presentation
Henry Farrell, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Affairs
George Washington University

Abraham Newman, Associate Professor, Walsh School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University
April 24
Susan Stokes, John S. Saden Professor and Director of the Yale Program on Democracy
Department of Political Science

Yale University



Contact Us

Charles Doran
Andrew W. Mellon Professor of International Relations, Director of the Global Theory and History Program, International Political Economy and the Center for Canadian Studies
Nitze 410

Starr Lee
Program Coordinator
(202) 663-5714

Address & Phone

International Political Economy