The Power of Nations: The Political Economy of International Relations

The Power of Nations: The Political Economy of International Relations

The Power of Nations: The Political Economy of International Relations

The Power of Nations: The Political Economy of International Relations

Excerpt

This book is in the old tradition of political economy. That mode of inquiry tried to elucidate all conditions that affect the wealth and power of organized societies and the policy options of their governments. The present study inquires into the bases, uses, and consequences of international power and influence, placing special emphasis on the interrelationship between power and wealth. My purpose has been twofold: first, to contribute to knowledge and understanding and, second, to synthesize a great deal of the knowledge already available. This task proved extremely difficult because there is virtually no academic literature on several aspects of the problems under examination. In these cases, as for example, nonpower influence, there was little, if any, existing knowledge to be synthesized, and only a beginning could be made with producing new knowledge. Some of the chapters in the present volume appeared in rather different form in a smaller preceding book, Power and Wealth (Basic Books, 1973). Chapters VIII, IX, X, and, for the most part, Chapter XI are completely new. All other chapters have been revised and include additional material and analysis.

The book offers a fairly intricate conceptual framework and a good many hypotheses. The nature of the problems, and of the information bearing on them, permitted little quantification of the relationship between variables. In most instances, therefore, the establishment of cause from empirical evidence was limited to the identification of the crucial variables and a qualitative specification of the relations between them. Peter Wiles recently remarked that . . .

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