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Chapter 20 - International Political Economy - Political Science 101

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Political Science
POL S101
Davina Rousell

International Political Economy International Relations and the Study of IPE o Major focus of IR since the 1970s o Susan Strange’s “International Relations and International Economics: A Case of Mutual Neglect” o Argues that an adequate world view requires attention to both o Interplay between political power and economic forces from the national level through to the international and global International Political Economy (IPE) o “The study of those international problems and issues that cannot adequately be addressed by recourse to economic, political or sociological analysis alone,” with a focus on “the elements of our most pressing problems today” (Balaam and Veseth, 2005) o Takes into consideration norms, values and interest of institutions and organizations o Emphasis on the state and the market o Often considers them to be in tension with each other o One thrives on sovereignty, the other on the absence of barriers to trade The Age of Mercantilism o Economic theory that trade generates wealth and so it is in the interests of the state to promote exports and restrict imports o Economic power and military power generate each other o Based in both nationalism and protectionism rather than free trade o Also complimented colonialism Mercantilism and Neo-mercantilism o At odds with emerging ideas of both economic and political liberalism o Mercantilism declined by the early 1800s but saw a brief resurgence in the heavy nationalistic years of the early 1900s o “Realist IPE” (a variation of neo-mercantilism) re-emerges in the 1970s The Rise of Liberal Political Economy o Heavily influenced by Adam Smith and later, David Ricardo o Both argued that states could enjoy a comparative advantage in the production of certain goods o Emphasis on a laissez-faire approach to the market place o Key themes: individual initiative (entrepreneurship), competition, pursuit of self interest, invisible hand of the market place. Twentieth Century Liberalism o John Maynard Keynes (1883 – 1946) o Argued that individuals do not always make rational choices, so the “market” is not always infallible, and the state needs to be able to step in to make adjustments o John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 – 2006) o “The notion that [the market] is intrinsically and universally benign is an error of libertarians and unduly orthodox conservatives” (1984) Marxism and Critical IPE o Emphasizes class struggle, exploitation and imperialism o Commodification of labor in international markets o Also sensitive to issues of gender and race o Many critical approaches are not yet in the mainstream of IPE Globalization, Labor Markets, and Gender o Exploitation of labor at the heart of the global economy o Many sources of cheap labor are also highly gendered o The trafficking of “illegal workers” has itself becoming a big industry in Europe, Asia, the Middle east and North America o Trafficking of women from poorer countries who are promised good jobs, but then forced into prostitution or sexual slavery The Rise of Citizen Activism o Occupy Wall Street Movement o Large scale public protest over persistent or systemic inequalities o Claims to speak for “the 99%” of the population that have been silenced for the benefit of “the 1%” The Post-War International Economic Order o Plans for a new international economic order drawn up as WWII was coming to an end o Bretton Woods, 1944 establishes a system of stabilized exchange rates to avoid another great depression o Based on liberal principles, adjusted to meet various national interests (sometimes called “embedded libera
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