POL S 447/ JSIS 330: International Political Economy
(Spring 2017, Frank Wendler)
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The political economy of transatlantic relations: Trade, data, climate and the banks
The political economy of international relations is increasingly an analysis of interactions between world regions rather than independent nation states. As countries around the world are increasingly tied together through free trade agreements and regional organizations such as the African Union, European Union, Mercosur or Nafta, an important new research agenda is the study of comparative regionalism: namely, the systematic study of the institutions, interests and ideas shaping different forms of regional cooperation in a comparative perspective on different world regions, and their interactions with each other. Against this background, the current state and future development of transatlantic relations between the European Union and North America deserves particular attention, for two reasons: On the one hand, studying the cooperation on regulatory standards between the United States and the European Union can be considered as a centerpiece in the analysis of international political economy, given the size, competitiveness and deep interconnections between both entities. Against the background of a crisis of multilateral agreements of free trade in the WTO and the rise of new competitors such as China, the interaction between the EU and United States appears as one of the defining questions for the political management of globalization. On the other hand, steps towards increased cooperation between Europe and the United States have encountered strongly critical responses on both sides of the Atlantic, as highlighted by but not limited to reactions to the contentious negotiations of free trade agreements between the EU and the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA). As free trade becomes generally more contested by the rise of populist politicians in both the US and Europe, disagreements about the future of economic and political cooperation are certain to increase during the Trump presidency.
Against this background, the class will introduce you into core concepts of international political economy and the more specific approach to this topic from the perspective of comparative regionalism. In its empirical part, the class will focus on transatlantic relations between the European Union and North America, with case studies on free trade, climate protection policy, the disclosure of data and setting of data protection rules, and banking regulation. While all of these topics will lead us to deeply political questions about the management of the economy on an international level, the transatlantic relationship will be presented as increasingly critical for the definition of answers to these questions on an international scale.
Assignments for the class include a short in-class presentation, end-term written exam and term paper of ca. 8 pages.