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Cover I-PEEL: The International Political Economy of Everyday Life

7. Social Media  

This chapter explores the increasing significance of social media in international political economy (IPE). How we experience and represent social media has profound implications for the ethical possibilities and limits of global market life. The chapter begins by problematizing social media through the related concepts of self-branding, the attention economy, and the prosumer. It then looks at social media via two popular documentaries on Netflix: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (2018) and The Social Dilemma (2020). These documentaries tackle questions of reform and regulation, identifying how social media data carries immense value for corporate marketing, political strategy, credit rating, and other ways of knowing and governing society. This helps to establish an important dilemma: is social media a free and democratic space or a new infrastructure of surveillance? Finally, the chapter reflects on the politics of social media by considering different forms of critical agency.


Cover Global Political Economy

5. Finance  

Lena Rethel

This chapter focuses on the Global Political Economy (GPE) of finance. It begins by exploring the key pillars of the GPE of finance, starting with money, currencies, and the international monetary system, before examining the dynamics of credit and debt. While money is ubiquitous, its usages are characterized by great variety and so are the practices—economic, political, and cultural—to which money gives rise. The chapter then looks at both public and private mechanisms which were established to govern global finance. Recurring financial crises are a key feature of the Global Political Economy. These crises can be triggered in different segments of the global financial system, including currency and debt markets, and can result from shocks outside the financial economy such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The chapter also considers different ideas that may shape the international organization of credit, such as Islamic finance.