An excerpt from an article by Michael Veseth.
What is IPE?
International Political Economy (IPE) is the rapidly developing social science field of study that attempts to understand international and global problems using an eclectic interdisciplinary array of analytical tools and theoretical perspectives. IPE is a field that thrives on the process that Joseph Schumpeter called "creative destruction." The growing prominence of IPE as a field of study is in part a result of the continuing breakdown of disciplinary boundaries between economics and politics in particular and among the social sciences generally. Increasingly, the most pressing and interesting problems are those that can best be understood from a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary point of view. If there is an "IPE Project" its objective is to pull down the fences that restrict intellectual inquiry in the social sciences so that important questions and problems can be examined without reference to disciplinary borders.
IPE is the study of a problématique, or set of related problems. The traditional IPE problématique includes analysis of the political economy of international trade, international finance, North-South relations, multinational corporations, and hegemony. This problématique has been broadened in recent years as many scholars have sought to establish a New IPE that is less centered on International Politics and the problems of the nation-state and less focused on economic policy issues. These scholars seek to create a new discipline of IPE that would transcend the perceived limits International Politics and International Economics as fields of study and research.
International Economics and International Politics
It is hard to imagine a world without International Political Economy because the mutual interaction of International Politics (or International Relations) and International Economics is today widely appreciated...