International Political Economy in a Complex World



Lauren Prather (GPS),

Faculty Group Members:

Michael Callen (Rady)

Erik Gartzke (Political Science)

Stephen Haggard (GPS)

David Lake (Political Science),

Megumi Naoi (Political Science)


While the foundation for international economic cooperation was laid long ago—most notably at Bretton Woods—the last decade has seen increasing challenges to the assumption that cooperation will continue unabated. Scholars across the Department of Political Science and the School of Global Policy and Strategy have devoted much attention to these issues in their research and committed to the exchange of ideas through a vibrant seminar series hosted by the Project on International Affairs (PIA). We have a track record of inviting scholars working at the forefront of international political economy and at multiple levels, from work on the preferences of individuals for international economic policies to how institutions and organizations have adapted to the increasingly complex international economic landscape. Given our efforts to invite scholars working on multiple dimensions of this issue, our speaker series reflects the mission statement of the International Institute and its goals more broadly.

First, the PIA seminar series is a long-standing seminar series at UCSD that hosts external speakers from across the United States and other countries to present their work and collaborate with faculty and graduate students. We will create a new series based on the model of the PIA. The PIA topic area is much broader than what we propose here as it focuses on international relations broadly conceived from security issues to human rights to international political economy.  Nevertheless, each year at least half of the eight to ten speakers in the series focus on the theme proposed here. Given the irregularity of funding for the PIA seminar series and the importance of focused engagement and collaboration on the international political economy theme, we propose a separate seminar series devoted to these issues while following the PIA model.

Second, the PIA model includes inviting outstanding scholars devoted to issues of international relations broadly including international political economy.  Fitting with the International Institute’s mission statement, scholars in the series have examined the theme from multiple levels. For AY 2015-2016, we hosted a range of domestic and international scholars speaking to the theme. Dr. Stefanie Walter from the University of Zurich explored how exposure to offshoring affects individuals’ partisanship across a number of European countries. Helen Milner of Princeton University presented her work on public opposition in China and the United States to foreign acquisitions of domestic companies. Odette Lienau of Cornell University moved the seminar series to a different level of analysis focusing on the international economic legal order that regulates behavior between states in the international system. For AY 2016-2017, we have a number of upcoming talks by prominent international political economy scholars including Judy Goldstein of Stanford University who works on international institutions and international trade, Sonal Pandya of the University of Virginia who is working on consumer behavior in the international marketplace, and Margaret Peters of UCLA who is an expert on international migration. These speakers highlight the complexity of the international economic landscape, addressing a range of topics and levels of analysis.

Key faculty members involved in the seminar series will be Michael Callen, Erik Gartzke, Stephen Haggard, David Lake, Megumi Naoi, and Lauren Prather (faculty liaison). Given the irregularity of funding for the PIA series, our series will take over and expand upon the stellar job the PIA has done at bringing in scholars on this theme. We will do so in two ways. First, we will increase the number of scholars to at least five each year. Second, we will increase the diversity of scholars. We will bring at least one scholar from a foreign university to speak in the series each year. We will also increase diversity in terms of other demographic and professional characteristics including inviting underrepresented minorities and scholars of all professional levels.

Faculty Groups