About the Institute

The Institute of Political Economy was established in 1989. It developed out of the Graduate Summer School of Political Economy, which was formed in 1983. The summer school was built on the strong tradition of interdisciplinary studies at Carleton, and on the interests of numerous faculty at Carleton involved in political economy. Distinguished international scholars have been attracted to teach in the summer school. Through the Institute, these distinguished academics will now be in residence as visiting professors during the normal academic year, in addition to the summer program.

Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs in Political Economy

The Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University is the only graduate program of its kind in Canada. The Institute offers three research-based, graduate level degrees that provide students with opportunities to research significant world issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Political economy is often understood to study the numerous ways in which power relations (class, race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.) shape the world we live in. Political economists also study forms of resistance and alternatives to current economic and political orders. Through the application of diverse critical political economy analysis, students are able to explore contemporary Canadian and global issues, including finance and financialization, migration and borders, environmental justice, race and racism, gender and sexuality, colonialism, violence, Indigenous movements, community participation and social transformation.

Alumni of Political Economy have completed their theses, research projects, and dissertations on a wide range of important issues and have followed their research interests to help influence positive change in both the private and public sector. Visit our Alumni page,?which features a number of alumni profiles, for a glimpse into the career paths of Political Economy graduates.

Three research-based, graduate level degrees are offered through the Institute of Political Economy:

Our Political Economy Master of Arts (MA) program attracts students from many different academic backgrounds like Political Science, Sociology, Journalism, Environmental Studies, Legal Studies, Communications, and Economics. Students are given the freedom to define their own research topics, enrol in courses from other departments, and work under the supervision of a wide range of?recognized Carleton experts?within the faculties of Public Affairs, and Arts and Social Sciences?at Carleton University. The?interdisciplinary nature?of the program exposes students to the core concepts of political economy, while encouraging them to develop individual areas of research concentration.

MA students are able to choose between a?thesis or combined coursework?and research paper depending on their preferences. Our?master’s placement course?allows students to network with government and non-governmental institutions, policy-makers, researchers, and community-based organizations. Students gain practical and on-site work experience and make lasting connections outside the classroom.

A collaborative Master’s with specialization in?African Studies?is also available for our MA students.

The Collaborative PhD with a specialization in Political Economy is designed for Carleton doctoral students in the following participating programs: Canadian Studies, Communication, Geography and Environmental Studies, History, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Policy and Administration, Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work.