Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics / Edition 3

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"áThis new edition continues to provide an outstanding introduction to this rapidly changing field taking full account of scholarly trends and of the impact of global transformations in manufacturing and finance on the structure of international power.' - Craig N. Murphy, Wellesley College, USA" "A Well-pitched, concise and accessible introduction to the fast-changing field of international political economy. Students will be engaged by the authors' judicious blend of theory, history, and contemporary evidence.' - Louis W. Pauly, Director, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, Canada" "After a period in which the global economy appeared prosperous and stable, the first decade of the 21st century has witnessed a financial and economic crisis that is reshaping the landscape of global political economy. The third edition of this highly popular and widely used text takes full account of the crisis, while continuing to provide a concise and historically grounded introduction to global political economy." "The authors first trace the evolution of the global economy, from its roots in the fifteenth century, through the Industrial Revolution, and to the post 1945 world order. They then proceed to explore in more detail the dynamics of today's global political economy, providing systematic coverage of the key spheres of activity, from trade, production and finance to social divisions, development, the environment, ideas, governance and - new to this edition - security" "Lucid, engaging and authoritative, Global Political Economy introduces an unusually wide range of theoretical approaches, moving beyond a traditional three-paradigm perspective to show how these theories can be applied and how useful they are in tackling key issues and developments." áThe new third edition of this unusually wide-ranging and historically informed introduction to the field of International Political Economy is better than ever, with expanded treatment of theoretical perspectives and a thorough updating of contemporary developments. ---Benjamin Jerry Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Once again, O'Brien and Williams have succeeded in making an excellent text even better. Wide ranging and historically informed, the fourth edition provides up-to-date coverage of both contemporary developments and the latest theoretical trends in the field.' – Benjamin Jerry Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

"This remains the most comprehensive introduction to the field." - Craig N. Murphy, Wellesley College, USA

"Illustrated throughout with clear examples across a wide range of global and transnational issues, this attractively redesigned new edition will further enhance the reputation of this well established text as an historically-informed introduction to, and an analytical toolkit for studying, International Political Economy." - Leonard Seabrooke, Copenhagen Business School and University of Warwick

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230241213
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

ROBERT O'BRIEN holds the LIUNA/ Enrico Henry Mancinelli Professorship in Global Labour Issues at McMaster University, Canada. He has published books and articles on the subjects of international trade, global labour issues, social movements and international economic institutions, global social policy.

MARC WILLIAMS is Professor of International Relations, University of New South Wales, Australia. His research focuses on global environmental politics, social movements, and global economic governance.

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Table of Contents

List of Boxes, Tables, Figures and Maps

Preface to the Third Edition

List of Abbreviations

Introduction 1


1 Approaches to Global Political Economy 9

Locating the field 9

Economics 10

Political Science 11

Political Economy 12

International Relations 13

Understanding the global political economy 14

The economic nationalist perspective 17

The liberal perspective 21

The critical perspective 24

2 Methods and Theorists 30

Methodological issues 30

Case studies and large n studies 30

Rational choice 32

Institutionalism 34

Constructivism 36

Four theorists and today's debates 37

unorthodox realist Susan Strange Strange, Susan 38

liberal institutionalist Robert Keohane Keohane, Robert 39

historical materialist Robert Cox Cox, Robert 41

constructivist practioner John Ruggie Ruggie, John 43

Where are we now? Globalization and IPE 45

Approach of the book 48


3 Forging a World Economy 1400-1800 53

Regions of the world economy 55

The Middle East 57

China 58

India 60

Africa 61

Americas 61

Europe 62

European expansion 69

Into the Americas 71

Along Africa: the slave and triangular trade 74

On the peripheries of Asia 78

Conclusion 81

4 The Industrial Revolution, Pax Britannica and Imperialism 87

The Industrial revolution 88

What was the industrial revolution? 88

Why Britain? Why then? 92

What did the others do? 94

Pax Britannica 95

The gold standard and capital flows 96

Free trade 99

Balance of power 102

Renewed imperialism 106

Conclusion 111

5 The 20th Century: World Wars and the Post-1945 Order 116

War and economic disorder 116

The world wars 117

Inter-war economic failure 119

The post-1945 order 125

The United States and the Western economic system 126

The struggle for development 131

State transformation 133

International organizations and governance 135

The information revolution 138

Conclusion 141


6 International Trade 147

Definitions 147

Theoretical perspectives: free trade and protectionism 150

Major developments 157

Growth and protectionism 157

Changing institutional arrangements 163

Key issues 169

Developing country interests 170

Regional trade agreements 177

Legitimacy 180

Conclusion 183

7 Transnational Production 184

Definitions 186

Theoretical perspectives: explaining the growth of TNCs 190

Major developments 193

The globalization of production 194

Changing organizational principles 201

Key issues 204

Re-evaluating the benefits of FDI 204

State-firm interactions 210

Regulating capital 214

Conclusion 216

8 The Global Financial System 217

Definitions and background 217

Theoretical perspectives: the Mundell-Fleming model 221

Major developments 223

The move to floating exchange rates 223

Financial innovation 227

The 1980s debt crisis 232

Key issues 236

Changes in regional and reserve currencies 238

Financial crises and international regulatory mechanisms 243

Global financial crisis 249

Conclusion 253

9 Global Division of Labour 255

Definitions 255

Theoretical perspectives: Adam Smith and his critics 258

Major developments 262

Changes in the production process 262

From the new international to the global division of labour 263

Key issues 267

Global restructuring: the rise of China and India 267

The struggle for workers' rights in a global economy 271

The division of labour and global stability 275

Conclusion 279

10 Gender 280

Definitions and background 280

Theoretical perspectives: GPE as if gender mattered 284

Major developments 288

Women in the world economy: employment trends and prospects 288

Gender and global public policy 292

Key issues 298

The feminization of poverty 298

Globalization of reproductive work 300

Gender and global restructuring 303

Conclusion 306

11 Economic Development 307

Definitions 310

Theoretical perspectives on growth and development 315

Major developments 322

Development and national capitalism, 1947-81 323

Development, neoliberalism and beyond, 1982-2009 327

Key issues 331

The organization of development 331

Debt and debt relief 336

North-South conflict 339

Conclusion 342

12 Global Environmental Change 344

Definitions and background 345

Theoretical perspectives: IPE and environmental studies 348

IPE debates 348

Environmental studies debates 351

Major developments 355

Bringing the environment in 356

Mainstreaming environmentalism 361

Key issues 364

Sustainable development 364

Trade and environmental degradation 368

Climate change negotiations 370

Conclusion 372

13 Ideas 374

Definitions 374

Theoretical perspectives: ideas about ideas 375

Major developments 379

The information revolution and the information society 379

The rise and stall of the Washington Consensus 383

Key issues 387

Technological diffusion 387

Property rights and life (HIV/AIDS) 389

Ideas, interests and the global financial crisis 391

Conclusion 396

14 Security 398

Definitions: three views of security 398

Theoretical perspectives: integrating security and political economy 402

Major developments 407

The Cold War security structure 408

The post-Cold War security structure 410

Key issues 414

Economic statecraft and security 415

Transnational crime 418

Disease, pandemics and security 420

Conclusion 422

15 Governing the Global Political Economy 424

Definitions 424

Theoretical perspectives: whither the state? 425

Major developments 428

Proliferation of governance levels 430

Proliferation of actors 434

The Global Compact 438

21st-century challenges 440

Development and growth 440

Equality and justice 443

Democracy and regulation 446

Conclusion 449

16 Conclusion: Issues in Contemporary GPE Theory 451

Understanding GPE: the eclectic framework revisited 452

Trends in contemporary GPE theory 455

Consolidation 455

Integration 456

Expansion 458

Conclusion 460

Glossary 462

References 467

Index 503

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