Rethinking Global Political Economy: Emerging Issues, Unfolding Odysseys

By Mary Ann Tétreault; Robert A. Denemark et al. | Go to book overview

11

Alternative directions in the study of the global political economy

Robert A. Denemark

Susan Strange contributed the first chapter to the first volume of the International Political Economy Yearbook, published in 1985. In it she urged International Political Economy (IPE) toward maturity, toward a separation from the stultifying effects of its erstwhile parents (international relations with its state-centric bias and economics with its narrow view of human motivation). She counseled the need for attention to a wider array of less tainted subdisciplines, to the question of "who benefits?", to questions of concern to more than just the policy makers of hegemonic states, to cross-ideological fertilization and attention to values. She warned us to take neither the accuracy of existing data for granted, nor the neutrality of the questions they were gathered to answer.

At her passing in 1998, Strange was memorialized in the fifty-year retrospective edition of International Organization, the most important IPE journal in the United States. One must question whether it was a fitting tribute. All but one of that issue's seventeen contributors came from the fields of international relations and economics, and the last few lines of the volume read "… the field needs to move in the direction of formulating parsimonious models and clearly refutable null hypotheses, and toward developing empirical techniques that will allow those hypotheses to be more directly confronted by the data. This, admittedly, is easier said than done." 1 The study of the global political economy has indeed matured, as attested by the sophistication of the literature and the many insights offered. But there has also developed an orthodoxy, the "politics of international economic relations" approach, against which Strange railed to the end of her life.

Strange's call for attention to fresh perspectives, a healthy heterodoxy, and openness to normative concerns animated this volume. Final chapters are fitting places to ask whether the work has been successful, and here I consider the insights we have offered in this volume regarding units of analysis (both spatial and temporal), fundamental relationships, hegemony, the disaffected, and globalization. In keeping with Strange's vision, the treatments in the various chapters show considerable independence. I also look at what this volume suggests for the road ahead. The transdisciplinary scholarship offered here is clearly useful. Nonetheless, there are issues that we have not addressed and elements of praxis that remain underdeveloped. Finally, we consider what scholars outside the mainstream might do to help build a better understanding of the global political economy.

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Rethinking Global Political Economy: Emerging Issues, Unfolding Odysseys
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Contributors xii
  • Series Editors' Preface xv
  • Part I - Introduction 1
  • 1 - New Odysseys in Global Political Economy 3
  • Notes 19
  • Part II - Aids to Navigation 21
  • 2 - Analytical Advances to Address New Dynamics 23
  • 3 - Metageographical Moments 46
  • Notes 64
  • 4 - Creating Global Hegemony 65
  • Part III - Sacking the City 87
  • 5 - Globalization as Global History 89
  • 6 - Mergers, Stagflation, and the Logic of Globalization 109
  • 7 - Global Dreams and Local Anger 147
  • Part IV - Repair of the World 163
  • 8 - Globalization, "New" Trade Theory, and a Keynesian Reformist Project 165
  • 9 - Exploitation and Solidarity 195
  • 10 - The Globalization of Human Affairs 211
  • Part V - Conclusion 227
  • 11 - Alternative Directions in the Study of the Global Political Economy 229
  • Bibliography 238
  • Index 285
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