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 2016
Spring 2017
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”
Show More





International Political Economy | MA Requirements

International Political Economy Learning Goals and Objectives

Entering Class 2016-2017

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. Out of the four courses, two must be from the following:

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

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



Students must also fulfill the general requirements for International Relations (IR) which include 2 additional courses within IR from two different IR or selected 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 three IR courses in Washington with the exception of dual-degree or advanced-standing students, who must take at least two IR courses in Washington.



Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
·         Microeconomics
·         Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
·         International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
·         International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.

Students must receive a 2.67 average in the 4 required economics courses or they must retake a course(s) until a 2.67 average is obtained. If any of the 4 courses are achieved by passing a waiver exam or during Pre-Term, the student must substitute an economics elective course(s) in place of the waived course(s) in order to fulfill the economics requirement above. In this case, the school will use the highest economics program elective course grade(s) to compute this average if a student is replacing one or more of the 4 required courses of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory or International Monetary Theory.



Student 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)
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.



All students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses in addition to their concentration requirements. IPE concentrators must pass Theories of International Relations as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester.  If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course. Core courses do not count toward concentration requirements
·         American Foreign Policy Since World War II
·         Comparative Politics (old name Comparative National Systems)
·         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:

  1. A twenty-page research paper, approved by the director, whose focus and subject matter is on international political economy
  2. A twenty-page written report that draws conclusions about international political economy based on an internship undertaken while at the school
  3. MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors- if eligible)


Entering Class 2015-2016


International Political Economy Minor Requirements: (as of AY 16/17)

  • 3 IPE courses in total
  • 1 of the 3 must be from the following:
    ·         Politics of International Economy (SA.610.717)
    ·         Major Ideas in Political Economy (SA.610.752)
    ·         Comparative Political Economy (SA.610.770)
    ·         International Political Economy of Emerging Markets (SA.610.700)
    ·         Advanced Topics in International Political Economy (SA.610.736)
    ·         International Political Economy (SA.610.732)
  • 2 additional IPE or cross-listed courses
  • Passing Theories of International Relations as one of the two core requirements is highly recommended

General Minor Requirements:

  • Minors are optional (like specializations)
  • A student can minor in only one area
  • A student cannot pursue a minor in International Economics or IR/General, but can pursue a Specialization in International Economics
  • Minors consist of three courses
  • Some minors will have a required course(s)
  • SA student may use a maximum of one cross-listed course (or 4 credits) towards both a minor and concentration. In this case, the minor would require just two additional courses. In the IR or Asia concentrations, the cross-listed course must be from the primary concentration area (e.g., Conflict Management, Global Theory and History, China, Japan, etc.) and not from the two additional required courses across the other IR or Asia areas. Note: IR/General concentrators can always minor in an IR sub-field or approved policy area (Conflict Management, Global Theory and History, International Law and Organizations, International Political Economy, Energy, Resources, and Environment, or Strategic Studies) by taking just two extra courses (8 credits).
  • Regional minors may require language study or proficiency in the language of that region
  • A student can declare a minor at any time—prior to graduation
  • Students who are pursuing a minor in a program will not have bidding priority in that program (only concentrators)

To add or change a minor, please click HERE.

Cross-Listed IPE Classes

  • 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 2016

September 6

Tim Büthe, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy
Duke University

September 20

Stephen Weymouth, Assistant Professor, McDonough School of Business and
Dennis Quinn, Professor, McDonough School of Business
Georgetown University

October 6

Yuen Yuen Ang, Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of Michigan

October 18

Andrew Mertha, Professor of Government
Cornell University

November 1                         

Jacob Shapiro, Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs
Princeton University

"Service Delivery, Political Connections, and Voting: Evidence from Field Experiments in Pakistan"

November 15                        

James Morrison, Assistant Professor of International Relations
London School of Economics and Political Science

"A Great Transformation: The Decline and Fall of the Gold Standard"

Spring 2017

February 7

 David Leblang, Professor of Politics
              University of Virginia
             "Migration, Dual Citizenship, and the Global Economy" 

February 21

 Ben Schneider, Professor of Political Science
             Massachusetts Institute of Technology

             "Easy and Hard Distribution: The Political Economy of Welfare States in Latin America"

February 28

            Nita Rudra, Associate Professor of Government
            Georgetown University
            "Weak Democracies and the Unexpected Consequences of Trade Liberalization "

March 14

CANCELLED: Rachel Wellhausen, Assistant Professor, Department of Government
University of Texas at Austin
"The Political Economy of Sovereign Debt Issues"

April 18

Pablo Beramendi, Associate Professor of Political Science
           Duke University

           "The Political Geography of the Euro Crisis"

April 25
Randall Henning, Professor, School of International Service


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