January 31, 2013
International political economy: the interplay of economics and politics in world
International organizations: consider when an organization was born, this
influences its purpose – most IOs are idea-infused, and political context is influenced
Current structure of economic system is based on Bretton Woods. Bretton Woods linked
economic deficiency with international conflict.
Bretton Woods (1944): conference held in New England following WWII and the
Great Depression; wanted to avoid another depression and help rebuild war-torn
This goal of helping Europe’s reconstruction was a major shift from the U.S.’s
previous policy of avoiding entanglement in Europe.
What events and power brokers drive the world economy?
Battle between states and markets? Or does one or the other hold the power?
There are rules/norms/laws that limit/allow certain economic events
= system institution
Organization theory: organizations are formed in a context that influences them
International Monetary Fund (IMF): created to promote monetary cooperation
and resolve post-war problems; includes ~185 countries today (has taken on a larger,
World Bank: facilitates private growth, post WWII European focus at first, now
provides loans to countries in return for changes in national economic policy
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT): forum for negotiations on
trade, controversial today
Bretton Woods decided to fix