II - July 17–August 3, 2018
“I’ve gained knowledge in subjects such as politics and economics but best of all, I saw other people’s perspectives on these topics as the class was very diverse.” — Eduardo Monge
What is the impact of the resurgence of populism, nativism, and geopolitical competition on foreign relations and economic growth? Is China’s push to turn the renminbi into a global currency a threat or an opportunity? What are the implications of unsustainable level of public debt (U.S., Europe, Latin America, and Asia) on the future of international monetary and financial architecture? Given questions such as these, this course examines the interplay between globalizing pressures and national interests.
Working from a multilateral perspective, students use case studies to examine the nature of relations between nation-states in a period of increased economic and political integration. Topics include theories of international political economy in relation to foreign aid and sovereign debt, international trade and capital flows, security and non-state actors, rights-based approaches to development and humanitarian emergencies, energy sustainability, and the role of international organizations and financial institutions.
For counterpoint, students also examine the political, ideological, and social determinants of domestic political economies, including that of the United States. The political mechanisms of economic policy-making and the relationship between domestic policy and foreign policy are explored using theoretical, historical, and topical cases; examples include the political economy of income distribution and social welfare, national defense and hegemony, the national debt, and globalization.
Students examine these and other topics through lecture, research, academic and policy dialogue, group projects and presentations, peer critiques, and guest speakers. The course typically also includes a visit to the United Nations Headquarters.
Reyhan Ayas is a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Princeton University. Her research interests include economics of development, labor economics, and public finance. She holds an M.A. in economics from Princeton, an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a B.A from Sabanci University in Istanbul. Reyhan has conducted research on the European Union and on state legislation in the United States and has worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduate courses in game theory, law and economics, and economics of development.
Isabelle Delalex is an adjunct professor at Pace University's Lubin School of Business and also at Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, where she teaches courses in finance and economics. At Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, she serves as a faculty adviser to graduate students participating in the Capstone consultancy projects. In the private sector, she was the vice president and director of industry research at the Securities Industry Association after working for five years as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Her professional experience also includes consulting work for the United Nations and several not-for-profit organizations. Delalex holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
Alexander Gordon studied economics and international relations at Columbia College and at the University of Oxford. His research interests include international political economy, global health policy, and the ethics of international development policy. He is currently a research fellow at Oxford.
Katharine Jackson is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory at Columbia University. Her interests engage political economy and legal theory as she explores concepts such as corporate personhood, sovereignty and pluralism, constitutional theory, and property rights. Prior to her Ph.D. studies, Kate practiced corporate law in Delaware state and federal courts. She received her B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics from the University of Pennsylvania, her J.D. from the College of William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law (Graduate Research Fellow), and an LLM in transnational law from Temple University (Faculty Award), where she concentrated in comparative corporate law and international finance. Kate's teaching experience includes classes in international politics, international political economy, modern political thought, and justice.