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International Political Economy

IPE Research

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.

For an impression of the research activities on International Political Economy, please see the Chair Group International Political Economy in the  Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR)

For more information about the IR department, please visit: Afdeling IBIO

  • Testimonial van

    The programme forces you to critically think about the role the economy plays in international as well as local politics

    My name is Iris Staalman and I study International Relations with a Master's track in International Political Economy (IPE). I previously obtained my bachelor in Psychology, with a focus on social and cultural psychology. Curiously I was never very interested in politics when I was younger. During my bachelor however, I went on exchange to Uppsala, Sweden, and took a course in development theory and colonial legacy. Here my interest grew, particularly concerning colonial history and its effects on international politics today. Career-wise I am looking to play a role in the development of the African continent, through improving the international trade relations of its countries.

    The IR master is a good programme for those with strong opinions as well as those who are still looking for their voice. Debate is constantly present in our classes and in the discipline in general. The programme highlights many different perspectives, none of which you necessarily need to agree with. This is one of the things I enjoy most in our programme, because I believe interacting with different opinions can teach you a lot more than only encountering similar-mindedness.

    Why International Political Economy?

    Due to my previous education it was necessary for me to follow the pre-master programme before starting the masters. Initially I had intended to specialise in International Security, but during the pre-masters it became clear to me that if I wanted to focus on development in ways other than foreign aid, I needed to look at international trade. Therefore I decided to specialise in IPE. This track does not merely teach you about the economic system that is in place, it also shows the various perspectives on IPE that are present, it questions the morality of it and forces you to critically think about the role the economy plays in international as well as local politics.

  • Testimonial van

    In the future I hope to spend my time working for a cause that will make the world a better place

    My name is Paul Haseloop, and currently I study International Political Economy (IPE). Previously, I did the bachelor International Relations and International Organization in Groningen, with minors in intelligence studies, religious studies and Dutch public administration. IPE offers me unique perspectives on issues such as, for example, international cooperation, trade relations, and the power of multinational corporations in shaping international policy. In addition, it helps me in analyzing the interplay between politics and economics, and the effect this has on societies, markets and states.

    Why International Relations?

    IPE in Groningen can be seen as a track within the master International Relations. The advanced course on IR theory contributes not only to knowledge on IR, but also helps in discussing problems found in international political economy. This connectedness of IPE and IR, in combination with the internship possibilities the UG offers, convinced me to sign up for this master. As a part of the master, I will do an internship at the Dutch embassy in Helsinki, which will definitely be an amazing experience.

    In the future I will hope to spend my time working for a cause that will make the world a better place, using the skills I have acquired during my time in Groningen.

  • Testimonial van

    Junior Consultant at Hiemstra & de Vries

    My interest in social and political issues led me to pursue the specialization International Political Economy of the Master International Relations. Specifically, the role of a changing government in its interaction with society and the private sector is something that fascinates me. This has been a focus during my studies at global and European levels. It is also something I find back in my work. This time at the local level.

    An advantage of the Master's track in International Political Economy is that you can put together your own programme. The programme is interdisciplinary, which has taught me to approach issues from a legal, political and economic angle. You learn in a relatively short time to find your feet in all sorts of topics. In my case ranging from the European Union to international political economy, political power and democracy. You also have the opportunity to gain practical experience. I did an internship at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok. Working at an Embassy gave me insight into the daily issues in international affairs and the role of various players in the field.

    I currently work at Hiemstra & De Vries. This is a consultancy agency that carries out assignments in the public sector. Mostly, for municipalities and provinces, but also for health-care and educational organizations. This year, I was involved in projects with quite a diverse character. Ranging from projects with a retrenchment character to projects assisting governmental organizations with the transition of care to municipalities.

    I really enjoy this job. For me, the dynamic of different projects, focus on social and political issues, and being in contact with people, is a perfect combination.

  • Testimonial van Janna Bots

    “The master is challenging, deepening and multidisciplinary.”

    My name is Janna Bots and I am a 22-year-old master's student International Relations and International Organizations (IRIO) with a specialization in International Political Economy (IPE). The reason I chose this master is because I have always been interested in the relationship between politics and economics and how politics is affected by and affects the economy.

    To summarize the master in three words; challenging, deepening and multidisciplinary. The master broadens your knowledge about the theories and topics related to IR and especially teaches you to think critically. The specialisation in IPE offers me the right combination of global issues seen from an economic as well as political perspective and teaches you the interconnectivity that exists between the economic realm and the political realm in International Affairs.

    The reason I would recommend the master IRIO at the University of Groningen is because it gives you the possibility to broaden your knowledge and explore yourself as a researcher in IR, while at the same time spending time abroad or at a ministry, doing an internship. Besides, Groningen is a wonderful student city and the best if you want to study in the Netherlands!

    – Janna Bots
  • Testimonial van Master Ambassador Daniel Cintra Brandão

    You get quite some specialization opportunities in the program

    I chose the course at the University of Groningen not only for its academic reputation, but because it offers a variety of different tracks within International Relations, meaning that the student is able to very much fit the course into their interests. The International Political Economy track, for instance, is very interdisciplinary, still you are able to focus on what you really like, being migration, sustainability or financial aspects.

    Many of my friends and colleagues from my own track have notoriously distinct classes from my own, which to me shows the specialization opportunities you get in the program. Besides, I feel that the classes are very well thought through and professors are very knowledgeable and approachable. In sum, my academic experience has been great so far. Another strong feature of the program is the possibility of getting a placement – internship – in your second semester. This can be done basically anywhere in the world and it provides students with a hands own experience.

    Read more about Daniel Cintra Brandão and why he chose to study IPE in Groningen!

    Questions? Send Daniel an e-mail!

    – Master Ambassador Daniel Cintra Brandão
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