Critical Perspectives on International Political Economy

Critical Perspectives on International Political Economy

Critical Perspectives on International Political Economy

Critical Perspectives on International Political Economy


Critical Perspectives on International Political Economy considers and revises the progress of critical thinking within IPE and engages with issues such as finance, the practices of health and work, and the relevance of new social movements and the political economy of the Internet. In so doing it provides a possible map for the next stage of critical development in the study of International Political Economy.


Jason P. Abbott and Owen Worth

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

The study of International Political Economy (IPE) or of its lesser known but comprehensive twin Global Political Economy (GPE) is a relatively new discipline within the more recognised study of International Relations. The application of critical theory towards GPE itself is an even more recent phenomenon, with its epistemological foundation still in its infancy – its aim to date focusing upon providing an alternative stance to those more conventional positivist readings within IPE. In general it aims to demonstrate that the norms and practices, inherent within the global political economy are not pre-determined by ‘natural’ or ‘inevitable’ procedures, but are created by ongoing processes, that have been historically formed by human intervention. In this sense critical theory has claimed to be able to ‘stand back’ from the debates of political scientists, economists and policy-makers alike, who base their assumptions from within the boundaries of current traits of the global political economy, and assess activities from a theoretical point outside of these parameters. This collection of essays aims to build upon the foundations within this critical tradition, while at the same time examining and forwarding ways in which critical theory can develop. In this sense it aims to open up further possibilities and directions that such an approach needs to consider, so that it can increase its ontological and epistemological value.

As commented upon by many of the contributors in this book, some of the original groundbreaking work that encouraged a more ‘critical’ mode of thinking to IPE came from Robert Cox. It was Cox who quite

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