IPE is a thriving sub-discipline that seeks to combine political and economic variables in its analysis of the changing global economy. Challenging purely economic analysis, one scholar (Andrew Walter) rightly asks, “why do most countries ignore economists and raise barriers to trade?” In this course, we consider whether there are persistent patterns (national capitalisms), new patterns (globalization and regionalization) and key geographic sites (global cities). Multinational corporations (MNCs) play a prominent role in the production, consumption and exchange of goods and services in most economies. One of our objectives is to investigate the ways through which MNCs seek to enhance their positions in a competitive and volatile global economy. We also examine the themes of China’s relationship with Africa, food and the global economy, foreign aid, the future of Hong Kong’s port, Somali piracy and tax havens.
We want to think closely about the following questions concerning the IPE and our case studies:
• Which are the key actors in IPE?
• At what level of analysis should we study these actors?
• Is there continuity or change in the global political economy?
• How can we see a link between the global political economy and Asia/Hong Kong?