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.
Peter Gowan and Doug Stokes
This chapter examines the field of political economy from a historical, comparative, and international perspective, focusing on how ideas, practices, and institutions develop and interact over place and time. It first provides an overview of political economy as a field of study before discussing some important theories such as Marxism, liberalism, and economic nationalism. It then considers key issues such as the interaction of states and markets and the North–South divide, along with Karl Marx's critique of international political economy (IPE). It also explores the post-war international economic order and the twin phenomena of globalization and regionalization in the post-Cold War era before concluding with an analysis of the ‘boom and bust’ episodes in the global capitalist economy such as the global financial crisis of 2008.
Edited by John Ravenhill
Global Political Economy presents a diverse and comprehensive selection of theories and issues. Debates are presented through a critical lens to encourage readers to unpack claims, form independent views, and challenge assumptions. This text has been updated with contemporary real word examples, including the impact of the Trump administration, Brexit, and economic nationalism. Furthermore, new analysis has been added on the international political economy of work, labour, and energy.
This chapter provides an overview of the current state of the world economy. The contemporary international economic system is more closely integrated than in any previous era. The global financial crisis and its aftermath provide a clear illustration of the relationship between trade, finance, international institutions, and the difficulties that governments face in coping with the problems generated by complex interdependence. The chapter then traces how the world economy evolved to reach its present state. Before 1945, the spectacular increase in economic integration that had occurred over the previous century was not accompanied by institutionalized governmental collaboration on economic matters. The end of the Second World War marked a significant disjunction: global economic institutions were created, the transnational corporation emerged as a major actor in international economic relations, and patterns of international trade began to change markedly from the traditional North–South exchange of manufactures for raw materials. Since the emergence of global political economy (GPE) as a major subfield of the study of international relations in the early 1970s, GPE scholars have generated an enormous literature that has employed a wide variety of theories and methods. Most introductions to the study of GPE have divided the theoretical approaches to the subject into three categories: liberalism, nationalism, and Marxism.
This chapter introduces the rationale for everyday international political economy (IPE). IPE is primarily concerned with the interrelationship of wealth and power across state borders. Whether through the sites of routine behaviour, the role of popular culture, or the stuff of mass consumption, everyday IPE has sought to show that the economy is continually remade in, and through, our daily lives. The chapter then identifies the lineages of everyday IPE which draw from the influences of theoretical traditions such as liberal, economic nationalist, Marxist, feminist, black, and post-structural theories. It also describes the I-PEEL approach and its implications for learning about and doing IPE. The I-PEEL approach looks at interrelated daily life experiences and explores how social relations of class, gender, race, nationality, and others sustain and subvert global inequalities.
This chapter examines patterns of national integration and international disintegration in the decades before World War II. It first provides an overview of integration and disintegration before World War I, along with World War I and postwar reconstruction, before discussing the challenge of the New Order envisioned by Adolf Hitler. It argues that national integration was a source of myths that formed an obstacle to the consolidation of incipient European integration. It also shows that economic integration did not lead inexorably to political unification and that visions of empire, central to the history of the major European states, challenged the supposed pre-eminence of the nation state and were bound up, in varying degrees, with some visions of integration. Finally, the chapter explains how integration, often assumed to be a peaceful process in contrast to the violent proclivities of nationalism and the nation state, has not always taken a benign form.
This chapter examines the European Union’s (EU’s) external trade relations in the context of the wider framework of global trade agreements, along with its related policies on development aid, particularly with the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) states. It first looks at the history of the EU’s trade and development aid, before discussing its contemporary external trade and development policies. It explains the workings of the common commercial policy, considers disputes within the World Trade Organization (WTO), especially with the United States, and explores the EU’s trading relationship with developing countries and near neighbours in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). It then considers theoretical explanations of the EU’s external trade and development aid policies, as well as criticisms of such policies. Analysis of the EU’s external economic relations brings to the fore a number of theoretical themes, such as the tension between nationalism and supranationalism, the complexities of bargaining within multiple international forums, and the dominance of particular ideas across different forums.