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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 Global Political Economy

8. The Evolution of the International Monetary and Financial System  

Eric Helleiner and Melsen Babe

This chapter explores the international monetary and financial system, which plays a central role in the global political economy (GPE). Since the late nineteenth century, the nature of this system has undergone several pivotal transformations in response to changing political and economic conditions at both domestic and international levels. The first was the collapse of the integrated pre-1914 international monetary and financial regime during the interwar years. The second transformation took place after the Second World War, when the Bretton Woods order was put in place. Since the early 1970s, various features of the Bretton Woods order have unravelled with the globalization of finance, the collapse of the gold exchange standard, and the breakdown of the adjustable peg exchange rate regime. These changes have important political consequences for the key issue of who gets what, when, and how in the GPE.

Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

5. The Evolution of the Global Trade Regime  

Silke Trommer

This chapter details the history, politics, and recent trends and challenges of the multilateral trade system. The twentieth century witnessed a remarkable emergence of international institutions, and nowhere was their impact greater than in international trade. Following decades of depression and war, a global trading regime was initiated with the creation of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947, which expanded steadily in both scope and membership through the twentieth century and culminated in the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995. Underpinned by the philosophy that open markets and non-discriminatory trade policies promote the prosperity of all countries, and issued with a powerful dispute settlement mechanism, the WTO has been hailed as the most prominent example of cooperation between countries. At the same time, however, the WTO has been subject to internal and external criticism and now faces a number of difficulties.