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Final Exam


The final exam will be distributed on Thursday, 3 December at 5:30 PM. It will be due (via email) by 10:30 PM on Tuesday, 8 December. In total, the exam should not take more than a few hours to complete.

The questions on this exam will be based on the discussion questions considered each week. (Indeed, the questions may even be precisely the same.) The best method of exam preparation will thus be to diligently develop responses to the discussion questions while preparing for the discussions, to take good notes during discussion, and to expand and revise one’s notes after the discussions. Suffice it to say, those students who have kept up throughout the term will not find many surprises. Those who have not may find themselves working more during the exam period than they would like.

Policies and Procedures

All of the standard rules–word counts, tardiness penalties, and formatting guidelines–apply for this exam. You can review those policies here. (This, among other things, means that you should include a bibliography with this exam.) Additionally, please note the following for this final exam:

  • This is an exam, and I remind you to treat it as such. While I encouraged you to help one another with the essay assignments, I would like you to complete this exam entirely on your own. Please remember that the honor code applies, as always.
  • I will happily answer clarification questions; but I would like you to develop the substance of your responses on your own.
  • Please include individual word counts for each answer. Each question has its own word limit and will be scored separately.

Exam Deadline

Lastly, please do not wait until the last minute to submit the exam. I have obliged myself to continue being strict in enforcing the tardiness penalties. I will do so with the exam as well. If you submit the exam more than 24 hours in advance, I commit to confirming its receipt before I go to bed that evening. I will also try to confirm receipt of the exams on an ongoing basis, but I will be away from email periodically. Remember that the closer you come to that deadline, the smaller the margin of error–and the window for redressing such errors!–becomes. If you have any problems and/or doubts, send me a separate email (without attachments) to make inquiries and try to call me (802.458.0633).


Exam Questions

Respond to the three following prompts (plus the bonus question, if you would like) within the prescribed word limits. All told, your final exam should have no more than 1700 words. When writing this exam, remember to answer all of the questions raised by each prompt. (Do not ignore any of the questions within the prompts!) This is slightly different from writing an essay in which you construct and defend an argument. Here your primary purpose is to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding by answering pitched questions.

PROMPT ONE: Answer either (a) or (b) in 400 (or fewer) words.

  • (a) John Locke and Adam Smith both offer accounts of the origin and purpose of political society. How do these views compare? What are the implications of these views for their theories of the role of the state in the market?
  • (b) What is the difference between the de jure and the de facto exchange rate regimes? Why is this difference significant? How does this difference come about? Which regime do you think matters more?

Answer the following question in 650 (or fewer) words.

  • After the First World War, world leaders attempted to return to the prewar levels of economic integration and cooperation. These attempts, however, largely failed. In the early 1930s, the “new gold standard” collapsed and virtually every state imposed restrictions on trade. The regimes established after the Second World War seem to have proven a good deal more durable. The GATT, the IMF, and the World Bank all remain major players in the global economy, albeit with evolved roles. Understanding the origins of these enduring regimes may be among the most important questions we can tackle in the study of IPE. Choose either the post-WWII trade regime or the post-WWII international monetary system. Describe its major features, and explain its origins. Be sure to consider all of the potential explanations we have considered in lecture, discussion, and our readings. (See Topic 3 for the types of explanations we’ve covered.) Where these explanations conflict, highlight those conflicts. Where synthesis is possible, make the synthesis. Do be sure to be as thorough as you can be given the space available.

PROMPT THREE: Answer (a) or (b) in 650 (or fewer) words.

  • (a) The question of “global imbalances” has entered the public consciousness so profoundly that it was recently the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit between “President Obama” and “President Hu Jintao.” What is the nature of this “global imbalance”? What are its primary causes? What are the implications of leaving these imbalances unaddressed? Are there any illuminating examples of such unresolved imbalances from the past? What constraints do international regimes like the WTO and the IMF impose on our ability to resolve these imbalances? If it were possible to reform these regimes towards the end of alleviating imbalance, how would you recommend we do so? (While I encourage you to watch the funny SNL skit, I trust you’ll base your analysis on more serious renderings!)
  • (b) The Brundtland Commission defined “sustainable development” rather broadly and, at the same time, privileged it as a top policy priority. How much relative importance would you assign to “sustainability” compared to other goals like encouraging development, defending human rights, limiting nuclear proliferation, thwarting terrorism, resolving ethnic conflict, &c.? What do you see as the relationship between the several facets of globalization: population growth, environmental impact, and indebtedness? Is sustainability necessarily at odds with globalization? What constraints do international regimes–or the lack thereof–impose on our ability to pursue sustainability? If it were possible to reform these regimes towards the end of increasing sustainability, how would you recommend we do so?

OPTIONAL BONUS QUESTION: Answer this question in exactly 10 words.

  • Economic historian CR Fay wrote, “No man is so surely at the back of English economics—of the classical political economy, and of the rebel economics of early English Socialism—as the philosopher John Locke.” What might have caused CR Fay to make such an incredibly stupid statement?
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