Global Political Economy in Context of Evolution of Political-Economic Thought

Global Political Economy in Context of Evolution of Political-Economic Thought


The readings in International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth are primarily intended to introduce the study of international political economy to those with little or no prior knowledge of it. The book is designed for use in courses in international political economy, international relations, and international economics.

The selections present both clear and identifiable theoretical arguments and important substantive material. Fifteen of the 31 articles are new to this fourth edition of our book, and the theoretical approach has been updated to reflect the changing state of both the world and the field of international political economy.

Although the selections can be read in any order, they are grouped in seven parts, which reflect some of the more common organizing principles used in international political economy courses. Each part begins with an introduction by the editors that provides background information and highlights issues raised in the readings. Each reading is preceded by an abstract summarizing its specific arguments and contributions. The readings were edited to eliminate extraneous or dated information, and most footnotes were removed.

The introduction defines the study of international political economy, summarizes major analytical frameworks in the field, and identifies several current debates. In earlier editions, the introduction and readings were largely structured around three analytic perspectives: Realism, Marxism, and Liberalism. This framework is substantially downplayed in this edition.

The field of international political economy has made significant progress over the last two decades, and this division—while useful as a pedagogic device—has become increasingly obsolete. To capture the most important work and current debates in the international political economy, we now highlight the analytic tensions between international and domestic explanations, on the one hand, and institutionalistand society-centered explanations, on the other.

These two dimensions create four distinct views, which we refer to as the international political, international economic, domestic institutionalist, and domestic societal approaches. Part I presents examples of these different perspectives on the international political economy.

The readings in this part are intended to suggest the underlying logic and types of arguments used by proponents of each approach. Although they are representative of their respective schools, they do not necessarily capture the wide range of opinions within each approach.

Part II, which reviews the history of the international economy since the nineteenth century, provides the background and perspective necessary to understand the contemporary international political economy. The selections describe the major developments in the history of the modern international economy from a variety of different theoretical viewpoints.


The remainder of the book is devoted to the modern international political economy. Separate sections on production, money, and finance, and trade look at the principal broad issue areas associated with the politics of international economic relations. Part VI focuses on the particular political and economic problems of developing and transitional economies. Finally, Part VII examines current problems in the politics of international economics

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