International Political Economy is one of five specializations within the Master's degree in International Relations.
Since the 1970s, IPE has developed as an independent sub-discipline in International Relations (IR). It focuses on the interaction between states, markets and societies. Its primary aim is to increase our understanding of the dynamics of these three building blocks. In doing so, IPE is interdisciplinary by its self-same nature.
Why is it fascinating coming to grips with a globalizing world economy? While states cannot be conceived of as homogenous actors that perfectly take care of the preferences of all of their citizens, one can nevertheless reveal degrees of freedom for negotiation about regional and international cooperation in the fields of trade, production, finance and knowledge. It is a scholarly exertion to reveal the complicated nexus of states, markets and societies.
Why in Groningen?
The specialization IPE: - Enables to design a study programme tailored to your needs and interests. - Offers a research-led and policy-oriented curriculum taught by committed staff. - Includes an internship that excellently prepares for the labour market. - Provides you with a research-oriented profile which makes you fit for participation in a Research Master and/or a PhD track. - Is embedded in a university that provides a genuine international environment in the sparkling city of Groningen.
The Master's specialization is broad in scope and gives students a solid foundation in international relations. There is consequently a wide range of employment opportunities for International Relations graduates. The most obvious profession is a policy advisor, but you could also become a researcher, lobbyist, diplomat, or PR officer. You can work in international business, non-profit or government organizations, in the media, and at a university or a private research institute.
In Groningen, IPE research focuses in particular, but not exclusively, on processes of institutional change. Rather than scrutinizing the impact of given institutional settings on the interplay of states, markets and society, the leading research thread is the dynamics of institutions. What explains the emergence of institutions in the realm of international political economy? The overarching idea is to come to grips with converging institutional settings in on-going globalization.
Groningen IPE research on institutional change distinguishes two themes.
The first is designed around the topic of transformation & integration. It focuses on the transition to a market economy embedded in a democratic order in the regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. (See e.g. Herman W. Hoen (2011), “Crisis in Eastern Europe: The downside of a market economy revealed?”, European Review, 19(1), 31-41.) In this research, which is partly financed by the Volkswagen Foundation, there is close collaboration with the universities of Göttingen and Indiana (Bloomington) and the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (Regensburg).
A second research line addresses the problem of convergence. At a regional level, the studies zoom in on the emergence of and changes in trade, investment, and labour regimes. At the enterprise level, the research focuses on ‘corporate governance’ and the extent to which it converges between Europe and the United States.