Political Science 1020E Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Friedrich Engels, Neomercantilism, Bet Her

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Politics 1020E
Principles of Political Economy
Defining Political Economy
What is Political Economy?
Politics and economics intertwined:
economic influences political outcomes: “money talks”
Those with more money and, in turn, a higher socioeconomic status in society, have
more say in policy and politics in general
politics influences economic outcomes: (i) organizing the economy, (ii) realizing values
economies require political organization
if the state cannot monopolize coercion, it cannot enforce property laws, etc.
state policies influence economy
economy ‘embedded’: economies do not function on their own, rather, it is intertwined
with social aspects, such as culture and ideology
‘economy is too important to be just left with economics’
Political Economy
A single discipline:
with spread and strengthening of markets beginning in the 18th century
previously in ‘minor mode’ of function, but now central in society
explore the implications for politics and society
economics becoming more and more influential and significant in politics; hence, political
economy
early works: Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and David Ricardo
later works: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
both recognize that economy is influencing politics, and differ as to how this occurs
Political Science
An independent Discipline:
offshoot of political economy and history
in Britain and USA: late 19th and early 20th centuries
emerges in universities and institutions of higher learning
Political economy: renewed interest of late:
● re-embedding
rational choice: emphasizes humans as self-interested
The Major Approaches to Political Economy
State Centric
Markets not natural
State formation inspired state intervention in markets:
mercantilism: national wealth and power
protectionism: “beggar thy neighbour” (strengthening one state at the expense of
another)
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