The British school of international political economy is where I have been “trained”. Why does this matter? Well I didn’t think it when I applied for my course, it seemed like a good degree to do after studying economics. Here’s my two cents for those of you asking what is wrong with me.
There are some things missing at the “British School” style of IPE education, that I realize now that my formal education is kinda over.
A) The acute focus on theory; theory that is itself “Brit-school”. This includes a lot of focus on epistemology and ontology, liberal trade theory as it applied to Europe, “Marxist” theory of the critical branch coming from Robert Cox from Canada and people like Rosenberg and Linklater in UK.
B) There is a lack of focus on methods, including statistics and economics. Thus data analysis takes a back seat.
C) Teaching isn’t as rigorous as I wanted it to be. What they called teaching, I called guidance to the right book in the library.
On the plus side, usually British teachers (in the politics field at least) are very open, and responsive.
British school IPE though good as a social science subject is probably good for politics, a little bit of media, and maybe even something like working for the European Commission or the UN (if you are white or extremely lucky). If you don’t want to cause a socialist revolution, want to do formal research, be able to rigorously handle numbers and get a good job in the underdeveloped country with massive figures of poverty get thyself to the US. Or just stick with the economists.
Look here if you’re interested:
Brit vs American IPE: http://ipeatups.blogspot.com/2007/01/british-versus-american-ipe.html
Old and New IPE-Keohane: http://pdfserve.informaworld.com/218504__909094975.pdf