The aim of this textbook is to provide an accessible introduction to the study of international political economy (IPE). In pursuit of this aim, it follows two strategies that distinguish it from many other IPE textbooks. First, it adopts a historical approach to the study of IPE and offers students, the interested public and scholars a broad overview of how the modern global political economy has come into being. Instead of beginning with an analysis of contemporary global political and economic structures, the book seeks to provide an easily accessible but brief history that draws out important factors in the creation of our present situation. In our teaching, we have found that the best way for students to appreciate the nuances of the present is to expose them to the origins of political economy practices of the past. This is even more vital as we move from a world dominated by the US and Europe to a more multilateral future. Second, the book seeks to move beyond the repetition of the three dominant theoretical perspectives (economic nationalism, liberalism, Marxism) on IPE as a framework of analysis. It seeks to reflect both the developments in IPE scholarship in the past 30 years and the main debates between orthodox and heterodox scholars through attention to a broad range of themes, issues and perspectives in IPE. Unorthodox or heterodox approaches to IPE have become much more developed since the first wave of IPE texts in the 1980s by Spero (1981), Gilpin (1987), Strange (1988) and Gill and Law (1988). Ecological, feminist, neo-Gramscian and poststructural approaches now compete with traditional perspectives and shed new light on old problems. Central to our strategy is a framework that integrates material and ideational aspects of IPE.
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