International Political Economy

Topics: Economics, Capitalism, Political science Pages: 36 (11488 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Part

I

Perspectives on International Political Economy
The first chapter of the text deals with the fundamental nature of international political economy (IPE) and some analytical issues related to its multidimensional character. Chapters 2 through 4 are the core chapters of the text that explore the history and policies associated with the three dominant IPE perspectives, namely economic liberalism, mercantilism, and structuralism. These theoretical tools are useful in understanding many political, economic, and social issues in the global economy of the past as well as the present. Chapter 5 develops two alternative IPE perspectives—constructivism and feminism—that derive, in part, from the three main outlooks under study.

ChaPter

1

What Is International Political Economy?

We Are the 99%: A Haitian hillside.
Georgina Allen

When a philosopher has once laid hold of a favorite principle, which perhaps accounts for many natural effects, he extends the same principle over the whole creation, and reduces to it every phenomenon, though by the most violent and absurd reasoning. Our own mind being narrow and contracted, we cannot extend our conception to the variety and extent of nature . . . David Hume, “The Sceptic” 2

The Darkness on the Edge of Town

3

the Darkness on the eDge of town
What are the chances you will find a good paying job—or any job for that matter—when you graduate from college in the next few years? Have your parents or people you know lost their jobs, the family home, or a big chunk of their retirement savings? How are you adjusting to the financial crisis? Maybe things haven’t been that bad for you, yet! Reading the headlines of any major newspaper, you might sometimes worry that the world is on the brink of a global economic catastrophe, if not a second Great Depression. The effects of the global economic crisis have made many people feel tense, fearful, and depressed. The collapse of the U.S. housing market in 2007 morphed into a credit  crisis that threatened some of the biggest banks and financial institutions in the United States and Europe. Government leaders responded with a variety of bank rescue measures and so-called stimulus packages to restart their economies. These interventions angered many ordinary folks who felt that the bailouts rewarded bankers and CEOs who had caused the crisis in the first place. Meanwhile, many people around the world were forced out of their homes and became unemployed. They suffered cuts in social services, health care benefits, and education spending when governments were forced to trim budgets. As we write in late 2012, the hoped-for recovery has proved elusive. Unemployment in the United States is stuck at 7.9 percent; in the European Union (EU), it has risen to 11.6 percent (23.4 percent for young people). Home foreclosures and stagnant incomes continue to place enormous strain on many families’ finances. The EU has fallen into another recession, with countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal so deep in debt that they might slide into national bankruptcy, causing the EU’s monetary system to collapse. People seem to have lost confidence in national and international political institutions that underpin capitalism and democracy. Is this what the Great Transformation from industrial to post-industrial society was supposed to look like? Are globalization and the so-called “creative destruction” of new technologies shrinking the middle classes in Western countries and permanently shifting economic dynamism to Asia and Latin America? Adding to the sense of gloom are events around the world in the last few years. High oil prices have benefitted giant oil companies while hurting consumers. The giant British Petroleum (BP) oil spill precipitated an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Japan’s Fukushima earthquake and tsunami damaged several nuclear power plants, causing release of dangerous radioactive material across a...
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