Theories of International Political Economy.docx

4 Pages
Unlock Document

University of California - Berkeley
Political Science

Theories of International Political Economy I. Introduction Early during the Cold war (50,60s) focus was on security issues in the field of int’l politics (high politics)  changed in the 70s in shifted by adding more of a focus on political economy issues woven in time when people started talking more about liberalism <3 Approaches to Political Economy> II. Mercantilism- o Oldest approach to political economy, emerged in 17 century: when we saw rise of nation-state and consolidation of state power o Mercantilist policy makers believed wealth and power were closely linked with possession of precious metals –silver and gold o People got and accumulated silver and gold BY exporting more than importing (contrast between liberal trade theory: trade freely as opposed to restrain import) o Esp. Britain: used mercantilist trade policies to rise in relative power; intentional goal was to create trade surplus (economically wealthy also enabled them to build military) o Gain wealth and power through gold & silver BUT it’s fixed supply & economic relation is zero- sum relations are tended to be conflictual, with emphasis on relative and absolute gains o This time period, economic interaction was main forms of competition between states; if this competition is g conflictual, lots of room for conflict (direct contrast from liberal trade theory- room for absolute gains) BUT hard to think liberally if goal is accumulating something that is fixed supply o Mercantilism declines when Britain thinks ―We can gain more from free trade‖ rather than protectionism and returns in the interwar periodAfter WWII free trade is the trend & US, the new hegemon, pushes the idea of free trade to their advantage still the dominant idea but sometimes point to protectionist policy as neo-mercantilist policy (protecting domestic industries from imports) III. Liberalism (dominated in the study of political economy because it has been dominant in the dominant states in the int’l field) *Cooperation: see more possibility for common gain, don’t focus on relative gains as how to gain state wealth in absolute terms a. Adam Smith o ―In a domestic economy, if individuals specialize and are allowed to specialize and pursue individual interest, everyone would be better off‖Achieve collective harmony and national wealth as a product of self-interested behavior o Economist following Smith believed what was good for individuals is good for states in the international field (states should trade at what they’re good at and trade freely)What was good for individuals within state was also good for states with each other ; States should specialize what they’re good at and trade freely –trade according to their comparative advantage Wealth would grow, unlike a zero-sum-game and everybody would benefit o Two important contrasts between Mercantilist and Liberal 1) Mercantilist pursuit of interests lead to conflict not harmony vs. Liberals believe pursuit of self-interest can still lead to harmony 2) Mercantilist: government should be strong and involved, central govt. to maximize interests, direct different industries to export Vs. Liberals- governments should stay out of the way for individual to pursue self-interest b. Comparative Advantage o Two countries can benefit from trade with each other, if each uses their resources optimally, should specialize only goods they can produce efficiently, export what they have a comparative advantage in, import what they don’t have CA in o States differ in factor endowments (factor of productions)- land, labor, capital Ex. French has little land but technology but Russia has lots of landproduce according to what they can efficiently produce a lot of o If all states capitalize on comparative advantage, wealth will grow and everyone will be better off o Comparative advantage domestically may be different from comparative advantage internationally  domestically, there is a hierarchic protection, no danger o To some extent, some patterns of trade match up nicely with comparative advantage BUT technology can overcome some natural endowments (some limit) o Arguably, can be applied to issues of security (trade in military, peacekeeping forces, etc. depending on how much human resources you have, military technology, or in general, as comparative advantage in security) o **Main point: everyone can benefit from free trade driven by comparative advantage, not necessarily equally, but better off than they would be without –why they don’t all benefit equally because differ in what they have a comparative advantage in –Liberals not saying poor states will catch up to richer states, they will be better off than if they restrict trade; therefore, absolute gains are important, not relative IV. Marxism a. Marx (1840-50s) o Look at capitalistic countries which do generate wealth BUT! generate wealth by exploiting most people and the generated wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few; poor don’t benefit but are more suppressed o In a capitalistic society, profits are gained and increased by squeezing labor out of people for less and less money; owners of capital get rich by keeping wages low/ exploiting workers end up with a structural differentiation between two classes which means 1) Almost impossible for poor people to break out 2) System itself cannot go on w
More Less

Related notes for POL SCI 5

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.