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The Nature of Political Economy.docx

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Political Science
POLI 244
Jason Scott Ferrell

The Nature of Political Economy (Robert Gilpin) The Meaning of Political Economy • relationship between economics and politics is reciprocal ◦ politics determine framework of economic activity ▪ channels it to serve interests ◦ economic process redistributes power and wealth ▪ transforms power relationships and political system ◦ both allocate scared resources, be it through market or budget • wealth: cannot be definitely clarified, how we choose to employ scarce resources, producing commodities and distributing them for consumption ◦ capital, land, labor ◦ physical assets and human capital • basic concept of political science is power ◦ military, economic, psychological ◦ man's control over the minds and actions of other men ◦ relative, and perceptions of it are important ◦ uncertainty regarding its distribution important in IR Liberalism • harmonious economic relations ◦ Adam Smith ◦ positive-sum game ◦ free trade, remove restrictions, international division of labour ◦ pursuit of self-interest is utilitarian ◦ enation-state has no meaning as an economic entity ▪ aggregation of private interests with public policy resulting from pluralistic struggle among interest groups • goal is to maxime global welfare ◦ optimum efficient use of scarce resources in the world • economics should determine politics ◦ pursuit of wealth should determine the nature of the political order ◦ world integration is the goal ▪ states to federalism, federalism to supranational unions, supranational unions to superstates • change occurs for dynamic equilibrium ◦ no necessary connection between political phenomena like war and revolution and the evolution of the economic system Marxism • conflictual economic relations ◦ zero-sum game • economic classes as actors ◦ interests of the dominant class determine the foreign policy ◦ public policy reflects ruling class' interests • goal is to maximize class interests ◦
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