The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Nathan Jensen

ProfessorPh.D., Yale

Nathan Jensen



Nathan Jensen (2002, Yale Ph.D.) is a Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas-Austin. He only speaks in the third person for the purposes of website bios.

He was previously an associate professor in the Department of International Business at George Washington University (2014-2016) and associate professor in the Political Science Department at Washington University in St. Louis (2002-2014). He is also an NFL owner (one share of the Green Bay Packers).

He teaches courses and conducts research on government economic development strategies, state and local economic development, firm non-market strategies and business-government relations,  the politics of oil and natural resources, political risk in emerging markets, trade policy, and international institutions.  Not all at once.


GOV 388L • Research In Intl Politics

38205 • Spring 2022
Meets T 9:30AM-12:30PM BAT 5.102

Seminar in International Relations.

GOV 355M • Business And Society-Wb

38650 • Spring 2021
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM
Internet; Synchronous

Please check back for updates.

GOV 360N • Business And Society

38069 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.126
Wr (also listed as BGS 370)

 This class explores the relationship between firms and society. This includes the role of regulation and government policy in shaping economic outcomes, firm voluntary contributions to solving social issues, and the harnessing of private capital for foreign aid. The key insights will be to examine how governments can best encourage economic activity that has positive contributions for society.


GOV 388L • Research In Intl Politics

38310 • Spring 2020
Meets W 3:30PM-6:30PM BAT 5.102

Seminar in International Relations.

GOV 360N • Pol Of International Trade

37620 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BUR 108

Please check back for updates.

GOV 360N • Internatl Busn & Politics

38340 • Spring 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.124

Please check back for updates.

GOV 388L • Research In Intl Politics

38530 • Spring 2019
Meets M 9:30AM-12:30PM BAT 5.102

Seminar in International Relations.

GOV 360N • Pol Of International Trade

38535 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 1.120
(also listed as BGS 370)

Politics of International Trade

Professor Nathan Jensen





In this course we will study the relationship between international trade and domestic politics. We’ll cover the basic models of international trade, the distributional consequences of trade, the relationship between trade and economic development, trade protectionism (causes and consequences) and an analysis of international organizations related to international trade (special focus on the World Trade Organization).




Class Participation/Trade Simulation                                                   10%

Students are attended to attend class and participate in class and out of class trade simulations.


Midterm Exam                                                                                    30%

The midterm exam will consist of short answer and essay questions.  The short answer questions will test knowledge of specific details from the readings and lectures.  Students are expected to know the authors from the readings, the theoretical arguments, and the evidence.  The essay questions will be much broader questions.  Students can answer these questions in a number of ways, but it is essential that the essays consist of material from the lectures and readings (citing specific authors).


Trade Policy Position Paper (6-8 pages)                                             20%

Students are to evaluate on current issue in international trade.  This could be an analysis of a current WTO cases, a discussion of a signed or pending free trade agreement (NAFTA, etc), or some other specific topic on the relationship between trade and domestic societies. 


Final Exam (Cumulative)                                                                    40%

The final exam is cumulative, but it will focus on the second

half of the course. It will be the same format as the Midterm Exam.


Late Paper Policy


It is common for students to ask for a deadline extension. Only rare exceptions a deadline will be extended, but students will be penalized one half a letter grade for each day the paper is late. Papers more than three days late will not be accepted.



Required Book (Available in the book store)

International Political Economy: PERSPECTIVES ON GLOBAL POWER AND WEALTH. By Frieden, Lake, and Broz

April 2017

ISBN: 978-0-393-60388-0


            The Travels of a T-Shirt in a Global Economy

            By Pietra Rivoli

            SBN-10: 1118950143


            American Opinion on Trade

            Alexandra Guisinger

            ISBN-10: 0190651830


Background:  Data and Theory


Aug 31            Social Science and Counterfactuals

Sobel, Andy.  2006.  A Micro-Toolkit for International Political Economy.

Pages 1-46.

Fearon.  1991. Counterfactuals and Hypothesis Testing in Political



Sept 2:             Research Design

Geddes, Barbara.  1990. How the Cases you Choose Affect the Answers

you Get.         

            Examples:  Skim these two articles and understand their research design     

Hiscox and Smyth.  Is There Consumer Demand for Improved Labor


                        Teachman and Call.  The Effect of Military Service on Educational,

Occupational, and Income Attainment.                       


Sept 7:             Labor Day


Sept 9:             The Economic Benefits of International Trade

                        Oatley Chapers 2-3


Sept 14:           Competiton and Trade

                        Krugman Chapter 1, 2 (Buy Book)

            Drezner.  2006.  U.S. Trade Strategy: Free Versus Fair, Memorandum to

the U.S. President.  Pages 1-40. 


Sept 16            Rhetoric and Reality

                        Krugman Chapter 8, 9 10, 11. (Buy Book)



Individuals Preferences towards Globalization


Sept 21:           Factors or Sectors in the United States?

            Slaughter and Scheve   2006.  Public Opinion, International Economic   

Interagration and the Welfare State. 

Hainmueller, Jens and Michael Hiscox.  2006. Learning to Love

Globalization: Education and Individual Attitudes Toward International Trade. 


Sept 23            Trade, Investment and Immigration

Timothy Hatton and Jeffrey Williamson.  2005.  A Dual Policy Paradox:

Why Have Trade and Immigration Policies Always Differed in Labor-Scare Economies?

                        Hainmueller and Hiscox.  2008.  Educated Preferences: Explaining

Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe.


Trade Protectionism


Sept 28:           Heckshir-Ohlin Theory

                        Rogowski Chapters 1 and 2 (Buy Book)


Sept 30:           Historical Evidence

                        Rogowski Chapaters 3, 4, and 6 (Buy Book)


Oct 5:              Ricardo-Viner Model

                        Hiscox International Trade and Political Conflict.  Pages 3-41


Oct 7:              Electorial Institutions and Trade Protectionism

                        McGillivray Chapters 1-2. (Buy Book)


Oct 12:            Parties and Protectionism

                        McGillivray Chapter 3-5 (Buy Book)


Oct 14:            U.S. Trade Policy

                        Putnam, Diplomacy and Domestic Politics. 

            Gilligan, Empowering Exporters, Reciprocity and American Trade Policy. 

                        Pages 61-89


Globalization and Wages


Oct 19:            Factor Price Equalization

            Freeman, “Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?”

                        Rodrik Chapter 5 (Buy Book)


Oct 21:            Theory and Evidence

                        Krugman Chapter 3 (Buy Book)

                        Leamer, “A Flat World…”


Oct 26             MIDTERM EXAM


Social and Environmental Policy


Oct 28:            Social Policy

                        Rodrik Chapters 1 and 2 (Buy Book)

                        Slaughter and Scheve, A New Deal for Globalization


Nov 2:             Trade and the Environment

                        Rodrik Chapters 3 and 4 (Buy Book


Nov 4:             Climate Change and International Trade

                        Readings to be assigned.


International Institutions

Nov 9:             Anarchy and International Institutions

                        Keohane, Beyond Hegemony  49-110


Nov 11:           The World Trade Organization

            Marcus Noland, Learning to Love the WTO. Foreign Affairs

September/October 1999

                        Krugman Chapter 10 (Buy Book)

                        Lawrence.  2003.  Crimes and Punishment.  Pages 13-48.


Nov 16:           WTO Disputes and Dispute Resolution

Busch and Reinhardt.  2003.  Developing Countries and the General

Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. 

            Busch and Reinhardt.  2004.  The WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism

and Developing Countries. 


Agriculture and the Doha Round


Nov 18:           Agricultural Subsidies and Development

                        Eliot, Chapters 1-2


Nov. 23:          Deadlock at Doha

Eliot, Chapters 4-5


Nov 25:           THANKSGIVING BREAK


Nov 30:           Topics Class: Foreign Aid and Foreign Trade

                        Lauren Phillips et al, Aid for Trade: What does it mean? Why should aid

be part of the WTO negotiations? And how much might it cost?

                        Asian Development Bank.  Aid for Trade in Asia and the Pacific


Dec 2:              Topics Class: Bailouts, Stimulus and Special Interests

                        Reading to be assigned


Dec 7:              Final Class Wrap-up, Hand Out Final Exam

                        POLICY PAPER DUE                   


Dec 13th:          FINAL EXAM DUE


GOV 388L • Research In Intl Politics

38950 • Spring 2017
Meets T 9:30AM-12:30PM BAT 5.102

GOV 388L: Research in International Politics, Spring 2017

Professor Nathan Jensen

Course Overview 

This course is designed to give second- and third-year IR graduate students an intensive, guided, workshop-based independent research experience, with the final aim of producing a piece of work suitable for a master’s report or dissertation proposal (depending on progress in the program). In other words, students will be expected to produce a fully-realized piece of research by semester’s end. Class time will be focused on the practicalities of conducting, designing, and writing mainstream social science research. Extensive participation is required, from presenting one’s work at specific stages throughout the process to seeking and giving feedback in class discussions. Think of it as one big semester-long workshop.


Prerecs:  Completed first year of Ph.D. work

Required Readings:  No books required.  All required readings are available on Canvas.

Grading Policy


10% Homework

10% Article Review

10% Annotated bibliography

10% Draft literature review 

10% Draft theory section

10% Draft research design section 

10% Conference-style presentation 

30% Final paper

GOV 360N • Internatl Busn & Politics

38510 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ B0.302


Nate Jensen

Professor of Government

Office: Office hours TBA.


Twitter: @NateMJensen



In this class we will explore the literature in political science, management, and economics on the relationship between multinational enterprises and governments.  The four main themes of the course are: 1) defining and understanding multinational enterprises, 2) governments attracting and competing for multinationals, 3) the impact of multinationals on economic development and groups within society, and 4) attempts to regulate multinationals both domestically and internationally. 



By the end of this course students will be able to analyze business and government relations from the perspectives of firms, governments, and societal actors. The specific objectives include:

ü  Understand how politics affects the investment decisions of multinational firms

ü  Identify the ways in which politics affects the operations of firms

ü  Articulate how “political institutions” shape the business environment for firms.

ü  Explain the types of strategies firms use to mitigate “political risk” or influence politics.

ü  Be able to support and defend arguments on if the overall impact of multinational enterprises on society is positive or negative. In what ways do they have a positive impact on development? What are the costs?

ü  List the different contemporary policy debates on the role of multinational corporations in society and the numerous government policies uses to attract investment.




Participation (10%)


In-class Midterm Exam (25%): 

The midterm exam will consist of a number of short answer and essay questions.  Students are expected to know the basic arguments from all readings and have the ability to synthesize these works in broad essays (e.g. summarize the impact of FDI on development).


Take-home Final Exam (25%)

The final exam is a take-home exam handed out on the last day of class (April 23rd).  This cumulative exam will consist of broad essay questions.  You will select two of the four questions and hand in your answers on the day of the assigned final.


Entrepreneurship Assignment (40%)


One major requirement in this course is an entrepreneurship assignment where students combine a research project with creative solutions to a substantive problem in the global economy.  You are to pick one of the four options below.  The final paper project should be 10-12 pages, 12 point font, double spaced.  The assignment should be issue centered, where you’re not citing sources for the sake of showing you read a lot of stuff, but with the goal of introducing a problem and forwarding an innovative solution as clearly as possible.  On the final day of class all of the students are expected to present their work in the form of a poster.  The entrepreneurship assignment is worth 50% of your final grade with the following grade breakdown.

Three Page Research Paper Proposal - 5%

Literature Review - 5%

Poster Presentation - 10%

Final Paper - 20%                                                                                                                                           



Class Schedule

Class 1:  Introductions

Class 2:  Overview:  What are Multinational Corporations?

  • Jensen et al. 2012. Politics and Foreign Investment.  Chapter 1.
  • IBM Global Location Trends. 2013.
  • Pankaj Ghemawat.  2007. Why the World Isn’t Flat. Foreign Policy 159: 54-60.
  • Marcus Alexander and Harry Korine.  2006.  When You Shouldn’t Go Global.  Havard Business Review.

Class 3: Why do firms become multinational?  The OLI Framework.

  • James Markusen.  1995.  The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade.  Journal of Economic Perspectives9 (2): 169-189.
    • Note: Focus on the OLI framework and understand the basics of the “knowledge capital model” of FDI
  • John Dunning. 1995.  Reappraising the Eclectic Paradigm in an Age of Alliance Capitalism.  Journal of International Business 26 (3): 461-491.
  • Eden, Lorraine. 2003. A Critical Reflection and Some Conclusions on OLI. In John Cantwell and Rajneesh Narula (eds.) International Business and the Eclectic Paradigm: Developing the OLI Framework. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Collis, D., Montgomery, C. 2008. Competing on Resources. Harvard Business Review.

Class 4:  Liability of Foreignness and Political Risk

  • MIGA. 2013.  World Investment and Political Risk.  Chapter 1.
  • Ravi Ramamurti.  2001.  The Obsolescing Bargaining Model.  Journal of International Business Studies 32 (1): 23-39.
  • Thomas Brewer.  1993.  Government Policies, Market Imperfection, and Foreign Direct Investment.  Journal of International Business Studies 24 (1): 101-120.
  • Sandy Walker.  2012.  A New Economic Nationalism? Lessons from the PotashCorp Decision in Canada.  FDI Perspectives.
  • Sophie Meunier et al.  2012.  Economic Patriotism: Dealing with Chinese Direct Investment in the United States.  FDI Perspectives.

Class 5:  Institutions and Risk

  • Jensen et al. 2012. Politics and Foreign Investment.  Chapter 2.
    • Rachael Wellhausen.  Forthcoming.  Investor-State Disputes: When Can Governments Break Contracts? Journal of Conflict Resolution.   
    • Witold Henisz. 2000.  The Institutional Environment for Multinational Investment. 

Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 16 (2): 334-64.

  • Karl P. Sauvant.  2012.  The Times They are A-Changin’ -- Again -- in the Relationships between Governments and Multinational Enterprises: From Control, to Liberalization to Rebalancing.  FDI Perspectives.

Class 6: Political Influence and Corruption and the Developing World

  • Andrei Schleifer and Robert W. Vishney.  1993. Corruption. Quarterly Journal Economics 108 (3): 599-617.
  • Mara Faccio.  2006. Politically Connected Firms. American Economic Review 96 (1): 369-386.
  • Peter Rodriguez, Don Siegel, Amy Hillman and Lorraine Eden. 2006. Three Lenses on the MNE: Politics, Corruption and Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of International Business Studies 37 (6): 733–746.
  • Yadong Luo.  2001.  Toward a Cooperative View of MNC-Host Government Relations: Building Blocks and Performance Implications.  Journal of International Business Studies 32 (3): 401-419.
  • New York Times.  JPMorgan Tracked Business Linked to China Hiring. Dec 7, 2013.

Class 7:  Efforts to Attract Investment/Midterm Review (Guest Speaker)

  • Readings to be announced

Class 8:  Midterm Exam

Class 9: Firms and Influence in Developed Countries

  • Stephen Ansolabehere, John M. de Figueiredo, and James M. Snyder. Why is There So Little Money in U.S. Politics?  Journal of Economic Perspectives 17 (1): 105-130.
  • Wendy L. Hanson and Neil J, Mitchell.  2000.  Disaggregating and Explaining Corporate Political Activity: Domestic and Foreign Corporations in National Politics.  American Political Science Review 94 (4): 891-903.
  • Sandy Gordon and Catherine Hafer.  2005.  Flexing Muscle: Corporate Political Expenditures as Signals to the Bureaucracy.  American Political Science Review 99 (2): 245-261.
  • Doris Fuchs. 2007. Business Power in Global Governance, pages 43-70
  • Check out your representative:

Class 10: The Impact of FDI on Development I

  • Theodore Moran. 1998. Direct Investment and Development, pages 1-84
  • Beata Smarzynska Javorcik and Mariana Sparareanu.  2005. Disentangling FDI Spillover Effects: What Do Firm Perceptions Tell Us? In TH Moran, EEM Graham, and M Blomstrom (eds.) Does Foreign Direct Investment Promote Development. Washington DC: Peterson Institute.
  • Saurav Pathak, André Laplume and Emanuel Xavier-Oliveira.  2012. Inward Foreign Direct Investment: Does it Enable or Constrain Domestic Technology Entrepreneurship?  FDI Perspectives.

Class 11:  Impact of FDI on Development II

  • Theodore Moran.  Beyond Sweatshops.  Chapters 1-3
  • Ann Harrison and Jason Scorse. 2008. Multinationals and Anti-Sweatshop Activism. American Economic Review 100 (1): 247-273.
  • Layna Mosley and Saika Uno.  2007.  Racing to the Bottom or Climbing to the Top? Economic Globalization and Collective Labor Rights.  Comparative Political Studies 40 (8): 923-948.   

Class 12: Policy Issues: Outsoucing, Tax Havens, and Financial Incentives for Investment

  • Daniel W. Drezner.  2004. The Outsourcing Bogey.  Foreign Affairs.
  • James Hines Jr. Treasure Islands. Journal of Economic Perspectives 24 (4): 103-124.
  • Kenneth P. Thomas. 2011.  Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital.  FDI Perspectives.
  • Nathan M. Jensen and Edmund J. Malesky. 2010. FDI Incentives Pay—Politically.  FDI Perspectives.
  • George Kahale, III. 2011.  The New Dutch Sandwich: The Issue of Treaty Abuse.  FDI Perspectives. 

Class 13: Special Topics: Public Policy

  • Readings to be announced

Class 14: Class wrap-up, Presentations of Projects

Curriculum Vitae

Profile Pages

External Links

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  • Department of Government

    The University of Texas at Austin
    158 W 21st ST STOP A1800
    Batts Hall 2.116
    Austin, TX 78712-1704