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Chapter

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

10. Conclusion  

This concluding chapter summarizes the key aspects of international political economy (IPE). IPE can be described as the study of global systems of production, exchange, and distribution, with a view to understanding what these mean for the basic values of wealth, security, freedom, and justice. This book connects this academic field and its animating questions to everyday life. Alongside states and markets, it looks at households as important sites of power. Alongside production, exchange, and distribution, it also considers the contested economic sphere of consumption. Using the I-PEEL approach, the book takes everyday objects and economic practices as both entry points into IPE and things to be studied in themselves. The chapter then demonstrates the process of creating I-PEEL tiles, highlighting the merits of the I-PEEL approach in studying global capitalism.

Chapter

Cover Comparative European Politics

12. Politics and Markets  

Neil Robinson and Owen Worth

The political economy of Europe has changed significantly in the last four decades because of globalization, the collapse of communism, and financial crises. This chapter first discusses the different varieties of capitalism that emerged in Europe after World War II. It looks at how they have been put under pressure by economic internationalization and the dominance of neoliberal ideas, which together have weakened economic management at nation-state level. The chapter also looks at the development of capitalism in Eastern Europe and explanations for variance in post-communist capitalist development. Finally, the chapter considers the challenges to the management of Europe’s political economy posed by the international financial crisis that dominated much of Europe’s politics after 2007, along with the initial response to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

4. Critical Approaches to Global Politics  

This chapter investigates critical approaches to global politics. While liberal and realist theorists probe each other’s ideas for faults and weaknesses, neither have challenged capitalism and its implications for social, economic, and political order. Marxism, on the other hand, which developed around the mid-nineteenth century, has provided very different perspectives and presents a significant challenge for mainstream approaches to global order in both theory and practice. Post-Marxist Critical Theory, along with historical sociology and world-systems theory, emerged in the twentieth century, giving rise to schools of thought which continue the critique of capitalism and the social and political forces underpinning it. Meanwhile, ideas arising from social theory, such as the extent to which perceptions of reality are socially conditioned and indeed ‘constructed’, achieved greater prominence following the end of the Cold War, an event which prompted many scholars to start asking new questions about global politics and the assumptions on which traditional theories rested. Constructivism, postmodernism, and poststructuralism remain concerned with issues of power and justice but provide different lenses through which these issues may be viewed in the sphere of global politics.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

7. Marxist theories of international relations  

Stephen Hobden and Richard Wyn Jones

This chapter examines the contribution of Marxism to the study of international relations. It first considers whether globalization is a new phenomenon or a long-standing feature of capitalist development, and whether ‘crisis’ is an inevitable feature of capitalism, and if so, whether capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The chapter proceeds by discussing a number of core features common to Marxist approaches as well as the internationalization of Karl Marx's ideas by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently by writers in the world-system framework. It also explains how Frankfurt School critical theory, and Antonio Gramsci and his various followers, introduced an analysis of culture into Marxist analysis as well as the more recent ‘return to Marx’. Two case studies are presented, one relating to the Naxalite movement in India and the other focusing on the recent experience of Greece. There is also an Opposing Opinions box that asks whether the global economy is the prime determinant of the character of world politics.

Chapter

Cover Rethinking Political Thinkers

37. Dipesh Chakrabarty  

Eva-Maria Nag

This chapter presents an overview of Dipesh Chakrabarty’s contribution to political thinking that is concerned with the human condition in the age of climate change. The chapter examines Chakrabarty’s argument that human-centred ways of thinking about the world and humanity are no longer appropriate. Moreover, Chakrabarty makes the case for bringing together natural and human history; for humans having become a geological force upon the planet; for capitalism having only a limited role in climate change; and for a new focus on planetary history, not merely human history. This chapter presents, Chakrabarty as a postcolonial historian and political thinker and then examines his conceptualization of the Anthropocene as a new historical and planetary era. This chapter further explores the complex connections between freedom, capitalism, and climate change. Chakrabarty insists the era of climate change needs new political perspectives beyond critiques of capitalism, colonialism, and globalization.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

9. Capitalism  

This chapter looks into the mystery as to why many people think that capitalism is the only viable economic system. Globalisation has significantly transformed the economic lives of people, and this is visible on an everyday level. Beyond the process of production, capitalism also goes hand in hand with social transformations such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter campaign. Since capitalism is a deeply political system with far-reaching effects on the international system, the chapter explores the myth that capitalism operates as a system of free enterprise independent of state involvement. Additionally, it considers the importance of reflecting on new ways of thinking about capitalism and how a world after capitalism might look.

Chapter

Cover Poverty and Development

1. Why Poverty and Development?  

Alan Thomas and Tim Allen

This chapter discusses some of the ways in which the two concepts of poverty and development are related by considering a number of dimensions in which they appear to be opposed. It looks at the 'era of development', describing how the emphasis has shifted from theoretical debate between alternative models of development to acceptance of globalized liberal capitalism. The fusion of liberal democracy and industrial capitalism came to represent the only viable basis for modern human society — an approach that was commonly linked to the concept of globalization. The chapter then assesses the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and how they have been succeeded by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both of which frameworks exemplify development seen in terms of policy interventions to ameliorate poverty and other global problems — including climate change. Finally, it identifies some major dilemmas for development as the twenty-first century progresses.

Chapter

Cover European Union Politics

20. The Single Market  

Michelle Egan

This chapter charts the evolution of the Single Market, from its original conception in the 1950s, beginning with the Treaty of Rome through to efforts to expand and enforce Single Market commitments in a climate of unfair trade practices and rising economic nationalism. The chapter highlights the tensions and trade-offs between legal and regulatory strategies to integrate markets; the challenges of creating a social market due to internal asymmetries between market integration at supranational level and social protection at national level; and the efforts to facilitate the free movement of goods, capital, services, and labour. The chapter highlights the importance of the Single Market in seeking to promote competitiveness and growth as well as the diffusion of its regulations beyond its borders. It concludes by demonstrating how both traditional international relations theories of integration and newer approaches in comparative politics and international relations, can be used to shed light on the governance of the Single Market.

Chapter

Cover US Foreign Policy

18. Global economy  

Peter Gowan and Doug Stokes

This chapter examines some of the central debates on how we should understand the United States’ efforts to reshape international economic relations since the 1940s. It first considers debates on the sources and mechanisms of American economic strategy before turning to debates about the substance of American efforts to shape the global economy. It approaches the debates about the substance of U.S. foreign economic policy since 1945 by classifying varying perspectives on this question in three alternative images. The first such image is that of America as the promoter of a cooperative, multilateral order in international economics. The second image is that of an American economic nationalism and the third is that of an American empire. The chapter goes on to analyse the global financial crisis and concludes with an overview of some of the main current debates about the strength of American capitalism in the world economy.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

8. Marxist theories of international relations  

Stephen Hobden and Richard Wyn Jones

This chapter examines the contribution of Marxism to the study of international relations. It first considers whether globalization is a new phenomenon or a long-standing feature of capitalist development, and whether ‘crisis’ is an inevitable feature of capitalism, and if so, whether capitalism contains the seeds of its own destruction. The chapter proceeds by discussing a number of core features common to Marxist approaches as well as the internationalization of Karl Marx's ideas by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently by writers in the world-system framework. It also explains how Frankfurt School critical theory, and Antonio Gramsci and his various followers, introduced an analysis of culture into Marxist analysis. Two case studies are presented, the first relating to capitalist developments in Communist China, the second looks at the global Covid-19 pandemic and considers the social impact and patterns of impact in a global setting.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

18. The Europeanization of National Economies?  

Vivien A. Schmidt

This chapter examines the impact of Europeanization upon the national economies of European Union member states. It considers how successful the EU has been in promoting its goal of building a single European economy out of the diverse national economies of its member states; how much convergence has occurred among EU member states, and how much divergence remains; and what impact the economic crisis beginning in 2008 has had on the EU and its member states. To answer these questions, the chapter traces the development of Europe’s national economies from the post-war period until today. It also analyses the impact of globalization and Europeanization on post-war varieties of capitalism before concluding with reflections on future patterns of political economic development in the EU in light of the economic crisis.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches

10. Major Issues in IPE: Economic versus Political Power, Development, Globalization, How to Study the Real World  

This chapter examines four major issues in International Political Economy (IPE). The first concerns power and the relationship between politics and economics, and more specifically whether politics is in charge of economics or whether it is the other way around. The second issue deals with development and underdevelopment in developing countries. The third is about the nature and extent of economic globalization, and currently takes places in a context of increasing inequality between and inside countries. The fourth and final issue concerns how to study the real world from an IPE perspective and it pits the hard science American School against the more qualitative and normative British School.

Chapter

Cover European Integration Theory

10. Critical Political Economy  

Bastiaan van Apeldoorn and Laura Horn

This chapter examines European integration from the perspective of critical political economy. It first outlines a historical materialist framework for understanding European integration against a broader context of capitalist restructuring; focusing in particular on neo-Gramscian perspectives but also highlighting other strands of critical analysis. The chapter then proceeds with an integrated analysis of economic and monetary union (EMU) as a political project. With a focus on continuity and changes within the political economy of neo-liberalism, the euro crisis serves as a reference point to illustrate the strengths and contributions of critical political economy. Finally, contemporary perspectives on contestation and resistance in European integration are discussed.