Global Political Economy and Development | University of Kassel - PEP - Promoting Economic Pluralism

Global Political Economy and Development | University of Kassel

The master program Global Political Economy and Development (GPED) offers students a unique approach to understand the political nature of development and the global economy by combining interdisciplinary research from the fields of International Political Economy (IPE), Critical Development Studies and Postcolonial Studies.

How does the programme provide content to ensure students achieve an understanding of a reasonably diverse set of perspectives on understanding economies?

The program introduces students to fundamental institutions, actors, structures, and processes characterizing globalized capitalism and North-South relations. It focuses on the global level, but also looks at regional and national settings from a comparative perspective. The program is interdisciplinary in character and is taught by scholars with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, among them political science, sociology and economics. The curriculum is based on a pluralist understanding of political economy as well as development and covers both mainstream and critical perspectives. It stresses the importance of an integrated approach to research, which links empirical analysis with methodological and theoretical considerations. Moreover, students are expected to complete a two-month internship that is relevant to the program topics.

How does the programme ensure students understand the interaction between economic and ecological systems?

The approach applied in the program emphasises the political nature of economic development, highlighting the crucial role of power relations in understanding today’s global economy. As such, the economy is not analysed as separate sphere but rather as an integral process of societies, cultures, and politics. Building on research in the transdisciplinary field of political ecology, an integrated political economy analysis focuses on how political and economic dynamics shape diverse society-nature relations. The programme helps students applying this perspective on environmental issues by offering courses on topics such as Global Political Ecology, (Neo-)Extractivism in Latin America, and Degrowth. In recent years, students have also self-organised seminars on the Exploitation and Commodification of Nature or Food Sovereignty.

How does the programme ensure students understand how to critically explore real-world evidence, both qualitative and quantitative?

All core courses aim to combine theory and evidence on topics such as globalisation, international economics, development, and global governance. Students are encouraged to critically reflect on methodologies, esp. on ontological and epistemological foundations of their research. In the compulsory module “Advanced Research Methods and Writing Skills”, students can choose to specialise in either (a) quantitative methods; (b) qualitative methods/interviews; (c) comparative methods or (d) discourse analysis. During their 3rd semester, students design their own research project in groups, applying the respective methods to their case. Moreover, all students must complete a thematically focused seminar which combines theory and evidence, for example on international trade and investment policy, global political ecology, or post-development.

What pedagogical approaches does the programme use to ensure that students examine the historical context, assumptions and values in all economic thinking?

Historical and theoretical analysis are key to most courses. Students are introduced to the entangled histories of colonialism and capitalism by critically examining the roots and legacies of institutions and structures of globalisation, global governance, and development. Moreover, by focusing on reflexive and critical theorisation students learn to examine underlying assumptions and values of the academic literature. In general, most courses are taught as seminars in relatively small groups. In terms of didactics, the program fosters intercultural and experienced-based learning through regular and changing group works in which students jointly prepare presentations, summaries or research papers. The program received the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation by the European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education.Historical and theoretical analysis are key to most courses. Students are introduced to the entangled histories of colonialism and capitalism by critically examining the roots and legacies of institutions and structures of globalisation, global governance, and development. Moreover, by focusing on reflexive and critical theorisation students learn to examine underlying assumptions and values of the academic literature. In general, most courses are taught as seminars in relatively small groups. In terms of didactics, the program fosters intercultural and experienced-based learning through regular and changing group works in which students jointly prepare presentations, summaries or research papers. The program received the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation by the European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education.

How does the department ensure that the teaching culture and capacity to deliver economic pluralism are continually improving?

The program is characterised by small classes of max. 25 students per year. Each group is diverse in terms of gender, nationality, disciplinary backgrounds and working experience. The department aims to employ new permanent staff in the field of global political economy of labour, gender and development. Furthermore, the M.A. GPED is tightly integrated with an international network that bring together professionals from the fields of higher education, international and civil society organisations:  International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) Global Partnership Network (GPN)Global Labour University (GLU) Through these networks guest lecturers from various disciplines (e.g. anthropology, development economics, sociology) and regional backgrounds (e.g. Brazil, Ghana, India, South Africa) teach courses in the program. The program is characterised by small classes of max. 25 students per year. Each group is diverse in terms of gender, nationality, disciplinary backgrounds and working experience. The department aims to employ new permanent staff in the field of global political economy of labour, gender and development. Furthermore, the M.A. GPED is tightly integrated with an international network that bring together professionals from the fields of higher education, international and civil society organisations:  International Centre for Development and Decent Work (ICDD) Global Partnership Network (GPN)Global Labour University (GLU) Through these networks guest lecturers from various disciplines (e.g. anthropology, development economics, sociology) and regional backgrounds (e.g. Brazil, Ghana, India, South Africa) teach courses in the program.

Other information:

The M.A. GPED is a full-time program which regularly takes 4 semesters. The University of Kassel is a public university and does not charge tuition fees. Students are required to pay registration fees amounting to about 290€ per semester. These fees cover public transportation, subsidised meals at the university’s dining halls, and other services. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in political science, economics or a related field (six semesters of full-time study) and must have earned at least a cumulative grade of “good” or “upper second” class honours (equivalent to 2.5 or below on German grading scale). Moreover, applicants must have at least one year of relevant working experience and certified English proficiency equivalent to level C1 according to the Common European Framework for References for Languages (CEF).

Florian

12/03/2021

Great Master with pluralist economic perspectives on globalization, trade, agriculture, gender, financial markets and many other topics which allows you to choose between qualitative and quantitative research skills in a very international environment! 😊

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Carlos Mario Cano Restrepo

12/03/2021

This master has the potential to be a changing life experience. The lecturers, the diverse readings, and the multicultural group of students and approaches ensure pluralism in understanding the current challenges in the Global Political Economy (GPE). Methods and theories are intertwined to provide a better explanation of socio-economic situations. Coming from the global South, you can also make a transparent dialogue with different GPE and development understandings.

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Eniana Kociaj

16/03/2021

It is a great Master Program that above all it stimulates you curiosity and gives you tools to dive deeper. The program is so diverse and the background of the international students is like a primary source of "development" itself:) After accomplishing this program one might set up some standards (professionally/personally) that some of us might find difficult to apply in our home country but after all that's the challenge of development itself - I highly recommend the program!

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Simon Schairer

17/03/2021

Deinitely a unique master programme given its very inter-disciplinary character and broad array of topics and issues tackled during the curriculum. What's more, the international environment of studying enriches your understanding of global politics/economics/society beyond the mere academic sphere!

However, one note to those primarily interested in heterodox economics - this program is a 50/50 mixture of "politics" and "econonmics", although these two spheres are of course interwoven.

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Country:

Germany

University:

University of Kassel

Course name:

Global Political Economy and Development

Department/school:

Dept of Social Sciences

Course level:

Taught Masters

Course language:

English

Website:

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Global Political Economy and Development | University of Kassel

Global Political Economy and Development

Dept of Social Sciences