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Cover Global Political Economy

7. The Globalization of Production  

Eric Thun

This chapter addresses the globalization of production. Although companies have been investing abroad for centuries, the most recent era of globalization has created an unprecedented range of possibilities for global firms to reorganize and relocate their activities. The chapter analyses how advances in transportation and technology allow a firm to divide up a global value chain — the sequence of activities that lead to the production of a particular good or service — and how these decisions create new opportunities and challenges for both companies and the societies within which they operate. It first reviews the rise of global production and the forces that have led to dramatic increases in foreign direct investment (FDI) and outsourcing. The central questions for any firm involved in global production involves how to govern the value chain and where to locate different activities. The chapter then provides a framework for understanding these issues and the implications of the various choices. It also applies these concepts to the case of East Asia, particularly China.


Cover Global Political Economy

10. Inequality  

Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez and Andy Sumner

This chapter explores income inequality in the global political economy. Income inequality matters for intrinsic and instrumental reasons, and intersects with inequalities between social groups based on gender, race, and other factors. There are three ways to think about income inequality at a global level: ‘international inequality’, ‘world inequality’, and ‘global inequality’. One can say that international inequality and world inequality have unambiguously declined since 1980. However, the magnitude of the decline depends on whether the size of countries' populations is taken into account. Meanwhile, national inequality refers to differences in income between individuals within a country. The chapter then discusses poverty. Ultimately, explanations for patterns of inequality in the contemporary period can be traced to many of the dynamics associated with globalization, particularly the reorganization of the global economy around global value chains (GVCs) and the implications for countries pursuing ‘late development’.


Cover The Globalization of World Politics

16. Global political economy  

Nicola Phillips

This chapter introduces the field of international political economy (IPE), the themes and insights of which are reflected in the global political economy (GPE), and what it offers in the study of contemporary globalization. It begins with three framing questions: How should we think about power in the contemporary global political economy? How does IPE help us to understand what drives globalization? What does IPE tell us about who wins and who loses from globalization? The chapter proceeds by discussing various approaches to IPE and the consequences of globalization, focusing on IPE debates about inequality, labour exploitation, and global migration. Two case studies are presented, the first looking at global value chains (GVCs) and global development and the second dealing with globalization and child labour.


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

3. Food  

This chapter examines the topic of food in everyday international political economy (IPE). It primarily focuses on the international trade of agricultural commodities and its developmental implications within the Global South. It explains the concepts of governmentality and the global value chain. The chapter begins by looking at corporate brands behind the globalization of chocolate, the associated transformation of dietary patterns, and the attempts to manage the exploitation that persists in the cocoa industry. It shows how these trends can be drawn together conceptually with reference to neoliberalism, a key term in IPE and in food studies generally. The chapter then analyses the meaning of food security, looks at how diets are governed, and looks at where value is distributed in the agri-food sector. It also considers how autoethnography and foodscaping can be used to reflect theoretically on daily diet and the moral economy of veganism.