POLB81 - Tutorial 1 Notes

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Political Science
Wiafe- Amaoko

POLB81 GLOBAL ISSUES AND GOVERNANCE Part I: International Political Economy (IPE) Week 1: International Political Economy (Jan 18 – absent) Readings: Robert Gilpin’s “The Political Economy of International Relations” Notes on Gilpin’s article – ―Three ideologies of Political Economy - What is political economy? o Relationship and interrelation between states’ political policies and economic processes - Three main ideologies (systems of thought and belief used to explain how a social system operates and what principles it exemplifies; paradigm) of political economy: o (Economic) Nationalism:  originally called mercantilism – state controlled so that there were more exports than imports  advocates primacy of politics over economics  doctrine of state-building; market should be subordinate to pursuit of state interests and that political factors do/should determine econ relations o (Economic) Liberalism:  emerged from writings of Adam Smith and others; reaction to mercantilism  assumes politics and economics exist, ideally, in separate spheres  argues markets (interest of efficiency, growth, consumer choice) should be free from political interference o Marxism:  rose as reaction against liberalism and classical economics  belief that economics drive politics and that political conflict is a result of class struggle over distribution of wealth  thus, conflict will end with elimination of market and classes o There is conflict between these three around the role and significance of the market in organization of society and economic affairs o Refer to as ideology and not theory b/c followers of each school of thought completely believe that is the nature of human beings and society. Their belief can seldom be dislodged by logic or contrary evidence b/c these ideologies provide scientific descriptions of how the world does work and how the world should work (normative) - Gilpin will illustrate the strength and weaknesses of each ideology. Gilpin says the world is best described by ideas of economic nationalism and sometimes Marxism The Liberal Perspective - Set values of liberalism: free markets and min. state intervention, individual equality and liberty (non-econ aspect) - There are many different forms of liberalism and each put emphasis more/less on certain aspects of liberalism BUT all forms of econ liberalism are committed to the market and the price mechanism as the most efficacious means for organizing domestic and int’l econ relations. - Liberalism can be defined as doctrine for organizing and managing a market economy in order to achieve max. efficiency, economic growth, and human welfare (liberalists also believe that econ activity also enhances power and security of state but main obj. is to benefit individual consumers) - Assumes market arises spontaneously to satisfy human needs; ―invisible hands‖ o Ex. The economic organization of a P.o.W. Camp shows this but also demonstrates how a form of government was necessary to police and maintain this market system - Its defense on free trade and open markets: ↑range of goods and services avail. to consumer - fundamental premise – individual consumer, firm, or household is the basis of society. Liberal economists attempt to explain economic and sometimes all human behaviour on bases of these individualistic and rationalistic assumptions: Individuals behave rationally and attempt to max. benefits at lowest cost (or at least until cost=benefit) and act on basis of cost/benefit or means/ends calculations. - Assumes that... o market exists in which individuals have complete
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