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International Political Economy: Overview and Conceptualization

Renée Marlin-Bennett


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Comment on this article   This essay provides an overview of how different schools of international political economy theory have conceptualized important concepts, relationships, and causal understandings. Antoine de Montchrestien (1615/1889) is reputed to have introduced the term conomie politique in his treatise of 1613, by which he referred to the study of how states should manage the economy or make policy. The concept of international political economy has come to encompass a larger range of concerns, including the intersection of politics and economics, as goods, services, money, people, and ideas move across borders. The term, “international political economy” (IPE) began to appear in the scholarly literature in the mid-1960s as problems of the world economy and lagging development in the third world gained scholarly attention. Although the term “global political economy” (GPE) came into sporadic use at about the same time, it was not until later that GPE became the more common term. The shift signaled a recognition that what happens in the world is not just about interactions between states, and that the global political economy includes many different kinds of actors. Rule making for the global order happens in private as well as public settings. In all, the messy set of relations captured by the term “global political economy” better suits the reality of a globalizing ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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