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Internationale Politische Ökonomie

“[S]uch liberal formulas as ‘world peace through world trade’ will not suffice. If we are content with such formulas we are the victims of a dangerous and deceptive simplification. Neither a national nor an international system can depend on the automatic regulants. Balanced budgets and free enterprise and world commerce and international clearinghouses and currencies maintained at par will not guarantee an international order. Society alone can guarantee it; international society must also be discovered.” (Robert M. MacIver, Foreword to Karl Polanyi, 1957 [1944], The Great Transformation. The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time. Boston: Beacon Press)


At the beginning of the 21st century, financial and economic crises, illiberal politics and climate change have posed major challenges to the modus operandi of contemporary capitalism and the international order. International Political Economy (IPE) strives to explore and analyze the related cross-border entanglements of economic, political and social processes as well as the tensions and (inter)dependencies that arise from it. Its fundamental premise is that ‘the economy’ is politically constituted through social groups, discourses and institutions that vary across time and space, impacting on how we produce, exchange and distribute wealth and power both globally and domestically. At the University of Osnabrück, the field of IPE combines international and comparative perspectives in both teaching and research.


Teaching in IPE at the University of Osnabrück is especially anchored in the BA European Studies and the MA European Governance, but also offers a variety of elective modules for all other degrees in the social sciences. It introduces students to the study of modern capitalism from comparative, international and historical angles, and offers classes to understand European economic and monetary integration. Further specialized courses deal with power and conflict in (governing) the global economy, salient issue areas such as money and finance, and case study methodology. 


Current research revolves around two key topics. The first concerns the politics of ‘financialization’, which is shorthand for the rise of financial actors, interests and practices in political economies around the globe. It particularly reflects on the shifting nexus between states, households and the financial sector. The second concerns the political constitution of different ‘growth regimes’ and their implication for international integration, both within the European Union and in the context of emerging powers (BRICS).


Team IPE currently consists of Prof. Dr. Daniel Mertens (research area leader), Kardelen Günaydın (PhD researcher), Dorothea von Kalnein (student assistant), and Vera Bröcker (administration).