Given the sea-changes that have been occurring in the study of International Political Economy (IPE) since the mid-1980s, it is hardly surprising that the discipline is now at a crossroad. For one thing, the political and geo-strategic map of the world has been drastically transformed. Major events such as the end of the Cold War, symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the former Soviet Union, and the 1991 intervention in the Gulf War (under the auspices of the United Nations (UN)) were presented as the triumph of economic and political liberalism, the advent of a "New World Order."
How things have changed barely a decade later. The world has now been witness to three more military interventions, one in Kosovo, one in Afghanistan, and one in Iraq, which were not approved by the UN Security Council. The latter intervention appears to have further cemented a new geo-strategic divide; one that no longer finds the United States and the Soviet Union opposite each other but which seemingly confronts the West, in particular the United States, with the Islamic world. In political terms this new divide is being compounded by the fact that severe disagreements exist within the Atlantic Alliance.
These geo-strategic changes have not been happening in a political, economic, or sociocultural vacuum. Encapsulated by the term "globalization," a number of "sea changes" have been transforming both the practice and constitution of world (power) politics and many people's everyday lives. For all these reasons, the need to keep developing new analytical and theoretical frameworks for grasping these various transformations in IPE/Global Political Economy (GPE) has not lessened. In this regard this latest volume in the RIPE Series in GPE, Rethinking Global Political Economy: Emerging Issues, Unfolding Odysseys is a much needed contribution to the field.
The volume brings together a range of critical perspectives on the aforementioned "global shifts" from a variety of scholarly, political, and analytical perspectives. The volume editors have also opted to dispense altogether with the term "International Political Economy," substituting with that of "Global Political Economy." Reasons for this change in terminology is underscored in the contributing chapters' themes, which range from culture and the market, the role of environmental movements in civil society, structural, and acute violence, a new