LSE Summer School

IR120 Trade, Development and the Environment

3-week course, next session: 8 - 26 July 2019

Some of the most complex problems in global politics exist at the nexus between international trade, development and environment. While globalisation has made countries ever more interdependent, the capacity of the international system to deal with global challenges remains limited. A wide range of global problems still awaits effective international solutions – from the depletion of natural resources and global climate change to the creation of an effective and fair trading system and the promotion of economic development.

This course examines the global politics of trade, development and the environment, against the background of continued economic globalisation and the emergence of new forms of global governance. Using historical reflection, conceptual discussion and in-depth case studies, the course aims to promote a better understanding of how we can reconcile the competing objectives of free trade, environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation.

The course is divided into three parts: the first part introduces the theory and history of trade policy, economic development and environmental protection. The second part investigates the ways in which key actors in global politics – states, NGOs, global corporations and international organisations – are shaping outcomes in international policy-making. The final part examines the potential for effective global governance in selected case-studies: the global politics of climate change; the clash between intellectual property rights and access to essential medicines in the developing world; and the international trade conflict over genetically modified (GM) food.

LSE course description for IR120.

Image credit: Jasmine

Image credit: Jasmine