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Subject Course 3: International Public Economics

International Public Administration and Politics / Politics and Administration / Public Administration
master course
Teaching language

You register for activities through stads selvbetjening during the announced registration period, which you can see on the Study administration homepage.

When registering for courses, please be aware of the potential conflicts and overlaps between course and exam time and dates. The planning of course activities at Roskilde University is based on the recommended study programmes, which should not overlap. However, if you choose optional courses and/or study plans that goes beyond the recommended study programmes, an overlap of lectures or exam dates may occur depending on which courses you choose.

Detailed description of content

Public economics is traditionally understood as the study of government policy through the lens of economic efficiency and equity. In our conceptualization, international public economics is the study of international regulation and governance through those same lenses of efficiency and equity.

We take point of departure in Dani Rodrik’s work on the Economics of Globalization, linking it to the notion of Liberal Economic Order. Many scholars and analysts see the post-WW2 economic order as increasingly challenged, both by the rise of various forms of anti-establishment politics (Trump, Brexit etc) and by the rise of China. In Rodrik’s analysis, the emergence of these challenges were predictable outcomes of the move from the moderate globalization of the Bretton Woods regime to the hyperglobalization of the 1990s and 2000s.

The current liberal economic order is facing several dislocating pressures, from Donald Trump’s imposition of high, punitive tariffs in the name of “national security” and Emmanuel Macron’s plans for “investor screening” to Xi Jinping’s industrial strategy for developing Chinese superiority in a range of high-tech industries. Against this backdrop, this course:

• Provides on overview of the history and configuration of the liberal economic order • Articulates the relation between liberal economic order and open economy macroeconomics in general, and the Washington consensus in particular • Outlines the process of hyperglobalization in two key domains; finance and trade • Examines current pressures on key nodes of the liberal economic order, from the EUs economic and monetary union to the rules-based international trading regime centred around the WTO • Discusses what reforms might enhance the political and economic sustainability of a peaceful, globally integrated world economy • Relates these developments to the key cross-border public goods that are at stake; such as financial stability; access to credit; access to foreign markets etc.

The course is divided in two main streams: one focusing on international finance, the other on international trade. The stream on international finance focuses on the financial crisis; key causes, competing narratives and alternative policy strategies. The stream on international trade focuses on current debates such as international tax competition, multinational firms, climate change and reforms of the WTO system.

Expected work effort (ects-declaration)

Category and number of hours Class teaching 30 hours Other (for example student presentations, exercises, peer-review) 30 hours Preparation 140 hours Examination 70 hours Total 270 hours

Course material and reading list

The core literature for the course is the following: Rodrik (2011). The globalization paradox: Democracy and the future of the world economy. Norton Co.
Rodrik (2018). The economics of globalization, Journal of International Business Policy.

Additional course literature is listed in Moodle.

Evaluation- and feedback forms

Exercises are supervised (they take partly place in the class)

Administration of exams
ISE Studieadministration (ise-studieadministration@ruc.dk)
The responsible course lecturer
Jakob Vestergaard (javest@ruc.dk)
Learning outcomes and assessment criteria
  • Knowledge at the highest international level of theoretical key concepts in the field of public finances (public goods, economic efficiency, equity, income, and welfare distribution, etc.).

  • Research-based knowledge of how activities that transcend common public administration and policy boundaries, especially Europeanisation and globalisation, affect these key concepts.

  • Knowledge of the interactions between national and transnational (especially EU) regulatory mechanisms that seek to influence public key economic concepts.

  • Analyse and reflect on developments in key concepts of public finances.

  • Assess the impact of different regulatory mechanisms on the public economy at different levels.

  • Select and pursue a relevant analytical angle on a practical research question in the area of the international public economy.

  • Responsibility for own professional development.

  • Be able, while under pressure, to assess a problem within the subject area and formulate relevant theoretical and empirical considerations on the content of the problem, further analysis and possible relevant actions.

Overall content

The course focuses on what increased activity and impact across national boundaries means for key concepts in the public economy (public goods, economic efficiency, equity, income, and welfare distribution, etc.). Traditionally, these concepts have been analysed and attempted to be managed from the national level, although the interplay between national and transnational levels increasingly challenges this logic. It is natural to look particularly at the importance of the European Union's political economy and the market economy mindset expressed in the Treaty of Rome and later in the Treaty of Lisbon. The link between the various key concepts will also be discussed in the course.

Prerequisites for participation
Currently no data from curriculum.
Prerequisites for participation in the exam
Currently no data from curriculum.
Teaching and working methods

The teaching alternates between lectures and exercises. After selected teaching sessions, students will prepare, individually or in groups, examples of exam questions based on the teaching and programme literature which will be on Moodle. Selected questions will subsequently be commented on by the lecturer. In addition, a full-day interdisciplinary workshop is included with the other two courses of the semester.

Type of activity

Mandatory course

Form of examination
Individual oral exam with a starting point in a synopsis possibly done by a group.
The student begin the exam with a short presentation after which the exam takes place as a dialogue

There may be posed questions in any part of the curriculum.
Permitted group size: 2-3 students.

The character limits of the written product are:

For 1 student: maximum  9,600 characters, including spaces.
For 2 students: maximum  9,600 characters, including spaces.
For 3 students: maximum  9,600 characters, including spaces.

The character limits include the cover, table of contents, bibliography, figures and other illustrations, but exclude any appendices.

Time allowed for exam including time used for assessment: 30 minutes.

The assessment is an assessment of the oral examination. The written product(s) is not part of the assessment..
The assessment is individual and based on the student's individual performance.

Permitted support and preparation materials for the oral exam: All.

Assessment: 7-point grading scale.
Moderation: External examiner.
Form of Re-examination
Samme som ordinær eksamen
Exam code(s)
Exam code(s) : U25742
Last changed 11/04/2021

lecture list:

Show lessons for Subclass: 1 Find calendar (1) PDF for print (1)

Monday 13-09-2021 12:15 - 13-09-2021 16:00 in week 37
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 20-09-2021 12:15 - 20-09-2021 16:00 in week 38
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 27-09-2021 12:15 - 27-09-2021 16:00 in week 39
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 04-10-2021 12:15 - 04-10-2021 16:00 in week 40
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 11-10-2021 12:15 - 11-10-2021 16:00 in week 41
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Tuesday 26-10-2021 08:15 - 26-10-2021 12:00 in week 43
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 01-11-2021 12:15 - 01-11-2021 16:00 in week 44
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 15-11-2021 12:15 - 15-11-2021 16:00 in week 46
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 22-11-2021 12:15 - 22-11-2021 16:00 in week 47
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Friday 26-11-2021 12:15 - 26-11-2021 16:00 in week 47
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 06-12-2021 12:15 - 06-12-2021 16:00 in week 49
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Tuesday 07-12-2021 14:15 - 07-12-2021 16:00 in week 49
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Monday 13-12-2021 12:15 - 13-12-2021 16:00 in week 50
International Public Economics (IPAP)

Wednesday 05-01-2022 10:00 - 05-01-2022 10:00 in week 01
International Public Economics - Hand-in, exam (IPAP)

Monday 17-01-2022 08:15 - Wednesday 19-01-2022 18:00 in week 03
International Public Economics - Oral exam (IPAP)

Thursday 10-02-2022 10:00 - 10-02-2022 10:00 in week 06
International Public Economics - Hand-in, reexam (IPAP)

Thursday 17-02-2022 08:15 - 17-02-2022 18:00 in week 07
International Public Economics - Oral reexam (IPAP)