It is known that International Relations (IR) has classically concentrated on issues of conflicts and peace combined with interaction and interplay between countries. On the other hand, International Political Economy (IPE) implicates a reasonable change towards the cognition of such problems as poverty and wealth, and understanding of who obtains what in regard to the international framework. The paper will examine the appearance of this in order to ascertain why the specific period caused a new approach within International Relations. In addition, the paper will ascertain the analysis of major prospects of International Political Economy theory, its benefits and appropriateness in accounting with issues of wealth and poverty and intensifying the cognition of international relations.
Generally speaking, the very definition and determination of IPE appears to be a controversial issue in itself. In regard to the theoretical prospect subscribed to, discrepant constituents of IPE become significant. For this reason, it is crucial to analyse distinctive theoretical prospects of this field. At the time when some scholars apprehend IPE in a form of a branch of international relations, others believe that International Relations should be reviewed as a constituent of political economy. Each of these theoretical approaches outlines what amounts to ‘economic’ and ‘political’, and therefore, it impacts the way they conform into the framework of ‘political economy’. Thus, International Political Economy can be regarded as the promptly evolving societal science field of study, which assists to comprehend global and international issues utilising a broad-based interdisciplinary matrix of analytical implements together with theoretical prospects. Generally speaking, IPE can be considered to be a field, which flourishes on the procedure known as “creative destruction”. The increasing eminence of IPE as a study field is partially a consequent of the particular ongoing breakup of disciplinary partitions between politics and economics combined with a breakdown of boundaries among social sciences in general. Progressively, the most critical, urgent and interesting issues are those, which might be best comprehended from an interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or trans-disciplinary viewpoint. Thus, in the case when there is a specific “IPE Project”, its major goal is to destroy the boundaries, which restrain intellectual questioning in regard to the social sciences so that crucial issues and questions can be analysed without referencing to disciplinarian frontiers.
Therefore, it appears that IPE can be considered as the inquiry of a ‘problématique’, known as an assortment of interconnected issues. The typical IPE’s ‘problématique’ incorporates the investigation of the political economics of international finance, international trade, North-South intercourse, multinational corporations, and supremacy. In fact, this assortment of issues has been widened during the last years due to the fact that numerous scholars have attempted to found a New IPE, which is less focused on International Politics together with the issues of the state-nation and less concentrated on economic policy problems. Therefore, these scholars try to compose an innovative discipline of International Political Economy, which could overstep the recognised boundaries and limitations of International Economics and International Politics as fields of analysis and inquiry.
The academic discipline of International Relations emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, with the main objective of comprehending issues of peace and war combined with the desire to make the world a more harmonious and peaceful place. The above-mentioned concentration was sustained in a form of a pivotal facet of this discipline until the 1960’s due to the fact that it was crucial and appropriate for this period. The facts demonstrate that the Second World War combined with the Cold War obviously emphasised the significance of this concentration for the study. This was the period when international relations posed the question why states-nations proceeded to participate in wars when it was already obvious that the economic profits obtained in war would never surpass the costs of performing these actions. Currently, international political economics inquires why do states face failures in acting to adjust, control and ballast an international fiscal system, which is appreciated as a vital necessity in regard to the ‘real economy’. Presently, it is known that all experts in and out of the government agree that ‘real economy’ appears in a hazardous requirement of more control and regulation for its own security. Due to the fact that the U.S. is currently established as the supremacy, the equilibrium of force has re-organised trade instead of warring interplay between countries. Therefore, IPE appears to be a reaction to a radical change in present affairs, which have ensued in problems of wealth and poverty.
In fact, it is suggested that there are two major causes for the exaltation of the interest in the field of IPE during the 1970’s. The first reason concerns 1971, which brought the shifts to the system in the global economics, specifically due to the bankruptcy of the Bretton Woods System, which was combined with the oil calamity. In fact, the system, which politicians had created in order to assure the worldwide economical trade and increase after the Second World War, appeared as solidly discredited. Due to the fact that recently decolonized countries were politically fragile and economically insolvent, they appeared to be unsatisfied with their dependent and subject position with respect to the multinational economic system. Therefore, the suggestions from the UN during the 1970’s outlined as a ‘New International Economic Order’ were supposed to address the misbalance together with the nonconformity of wealth between developing and developed countries and enhance the economical stance of third world states. This highlighted the interconnection of economics and politics. Thus, the countries took political measures, which alternated the regulations of the game in regard to the economic marketplace. Secondly, it is advocated that “shifts in the academic community, appeared partially as a reaction to the ‘real’ alterations in economic settings”. Increasing economic mutuality was seriously impacting the U.S. policy. Typically ‘low’ political problems of economics, marketing, trade, money and foreign deposition, which had been formerly dispersed as comparatively insignificant in contrast to ‘high’, states-people politics of diplomacy and safety started to ascend the typical political program and framework. The complicated interconnections between economics and politics were once again prevailed upon to the front. Therefore, currently, IPE appears to be the discipline and the subject, which tries to seize the connection between these two major principal constituents.
The significant interconnection between economics and politics, markets and states has been abandoned by classical International Relations. On the other hand, IPE equips theoretical approaches to comprehending the connections between these problems of poverty and wealth. Scholars typically concern economic liberalism, mercantilism, and Marxism to be the major theories of International Political Economy. Mercantilism sustain as a vastly realist prospect concentrating on the nation and interconnection between countries. On the other hand, economic liberalism might be regarded as a supplement to liberal theory concentrating on the individuals in the marketplace. Finally, Marxism sustains its individual original theoretical prospect concentrating on the class conflicts and production. These might be regarded as the major theories of this discipline due to the fact that they equip the essential suppositions and valuables whereby International Political Economy as a discipline might be addressed.
Mercantilism is conjugated to the inception of the current, sovereign countries appearing in the period between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Mercantilism can be also addressed as ‘statism’, protection, together with the economical nationalism. Mercantilists believe that economics should be a subject of the foundation of a solid country where the political elites appeared to be at the front of the foundation of creating the modern country and state. They think that economics is an implement for politics, a fundamental ground of the political force. Thus, for mercantilists, the multinational economy appears to be a stadium of conflict between contrasting national concerns instead of being a sphere of collaboration and reciprocal gains. Therefore, the economical emulation between countries is outlined as a ‘zero sum game’ meaning that one country’s gains stands for another state’s deprivation. In addition, states appear to be careful and suspicious of other country’s comparative economic obtainments due to the fact that the tangible fortune accrued might be utilized for setting and initiating armed-political force to be utilized against other countries. This explicitly repulses much of the neorealist ideology of emulation between countries. In fact, its main pivotal idea regards the fact that economic operations are and should be dependent and subject of the objective of state creation combined with the concerns and interests of the country.
It is also suggested that the economic emulation and contest between countries might take two different forms including ‘malevolent’ and ‘benign’ mercantilism. Thus, the first type meaning benign mercantilism demonstrates that the state is supposed to take a comparatively protective and preventive position trying to look after the national economical concerns so as to assure their national safety, without having any openly negative impact in regard to other states. A number of nationalists consider the protection of national economical concerns as the least possible significant for the safety and survival of the country.
On the other hand, ‘malevolent’ mercantilism demonstrates that it is crucial to try to embrace the multination economy via expansionary politics, for instance, colonisation. In fact, there are those nationalists who believe that the multination economy appears to be a place for imperialist development and enlargement combined with the national aggrandizement. Therefore, mercantilists believe that economical potency and armed political force can be regarded as two crucial additional objectives for a country.
Thus, when the liberal scholars typically believe that the persecution of force and wealth appears to be the selection between “guns and butter” meaning that it incorporates a compromise, nationalists demonstrate a tendency to consider these two objectives as being supplementary. Therefore, mercantilists propose that due to the fact that the economical assets appear to be fundamental to sustain and announce national force, conflict appears to be both political and economical. Thus, mercantilists would suggest that the persecution of wealth and force are entangled objectives of states, which ultimately overlay. Mercantilists follow force, self-support and economical self-sufficiency instead of mutuality.
In contrast to the mercantilist prospect, economic liberals expel policies and theories, which subject economics to politics. On the contrary, economic liberals rather propose that markets appear to be unpremeditated meaning that they appear to meet the requirement, demand and the contentment of human necessities presupposing that they appear as free from state intervention. Thus, generally speaking, liberal political theory is committed to free markets and minimum state interference at the same time being committed to individuals’ evenness and liberty. Liberal ideology sustains the subsistence of individuals’ reasoned agents meaning an individual who acts in the manner, which appears to be the most profitable and beneficial for them, chasing their own personal concerns and interests. On the other hand, other liberal concepts incorporate the belief in progression and reciprocal profit from free trade. Thus, it appears that liberalism is committed to a free market and requirement controlled and adjusted by the market itself. In fact, there is the pivotal inclination regarding the fact that the economic marketplace is the major source of progression, collaboration, and wealth. Political interference combined with the state control is considered to be hostile for this progression resulting to conflicts and lowering the effectiveness of the system.
It also appears that economic liberals dismiss mercantilist concepts of the primacy of the state as a pivotal agent in economic affairs. On the contrary, they believe that these are the individuals and consumers who ultimately appear to be the central agent. With respect to the marketplace, these scholars propose that economical interchange can be regarded as a positive sum game, in which individuals and firms harvest higher rewards in contrast to the input into production as a result of elevated effectiveness. Therefore, liberals believe that this starting point is beneficial for cognisance of the market economics and economics in general. Hence, economic liberals dismiss the mercantilist concept regarding the fact that one state’s economical obtainments automatically must appear at the expense of another state. In fact, the global economy is recognised to be a specific sphere of intercourse amongst states and individuals, and the reciprocal advantage and gains of all, and, therefore, the multinational global economy is supposed to be grounded on the above-mentioned free trade framework. Despite the fact that classic liberal theorists might debate against any type of state intervention, promotion rather than a laissez faire economic framework, neo-liberals acknowledge some state intervention in the form of policy actions, which can help in managing the functioning of the economy and maximising the effectiveness of the state itself. In addition, the ideas regarding a market, which is ‘wisely managed’ by the state, provide a positive prospect of the state as an agent that is capable of providing a specific direction and equipping political control and regulation of the market. It is obvious that the liberal views currently appear to be moving back towards a completely laissez faire liberalist framework, which suggests an idea that unrestrained economic globalization can be successful and effective for the whole world.
Finally, the Marxist approach to International Political Economy appears to be a significant and solid critique of economic liberalism dismissing the concept regarding the fact that the economics is advantageous to all in a form of a positive-sum game. On the other hand, Marxists describe the economy as a form of a position of class unevenness, utilization, and exploitation. This is the main reason why Marxists utilize the mercantilist zero-sum game among states and exploit it to class meaning that one class can have advantage but merely at the expense of another class. In view of this, Marxists approve the mercantilists in regard to the fact that economics and politics are seriously and closely interlaced. Thus, both of these frameworks actually dismiss the liberal perspective of economic sphere acting under its own regulations. Nevertheless, despite the fact that mercantilists observe economics in a form of an implement of politics, Marxists bring economics to the forefront putting politics on the second place.
It appears that Marxists believe that there are two counteractive social classes within the economy including the bourgeoisie who possess the production remedies, and the proletariat who actually market their labour to the above-mentioned class. By utilizing the labour, the bourgeoisie procreate the capitalist advantage. This appears due to the fact that the labour dedicated more performance and production than it obtains in a form of payments. Marx considered capitalism to be a form of a predecessor to a societal revolution, during which the remedies of production would be positioned under the mutual possession. Hence, Marxists believe that economical production can be regarded as the fundamental ground for all other human operations incorporating politics. Marxists suggest that states are regulated by the authoritative class and stimulated by the concerns and interests of the bourgeoisie. This presupposes and leads to wars and conflicts among states, which appear to be the material display of capitalist class emulation between states, and as capitalism enlarges around the globe, the emulation between the capitalist classes tails it. Therefore, Marxists conceive the history of International Political Economy in a form of the history of capitalism spreading across the world.
All of these three frameworks including Mercantilism, neo-Liberalism and Marxism demonstrate discrepant facets of the complicated connections between politics and economics. Nevertheless, these frameworks and theories in themselves have taken their arguments too far from the reasonable and logical deduction. Thus, Mercantilists believe that the fact that politics appears to be in a complete control of economics should be regarded as obviously inaccurate. Despite the fact that politics equips the model for economics to operate, the market has a crucial impact on the political program. Nevertheless, the scope of this is not as far as Marxists would declare; regardless the fact that it is authoritative and influential, economics does not define politics. In an analogous manner, despite the fact that economic liberals might propose that the market is self--governing, this is not completely accurate. In fact, the market does have its individual self controlling arrangements, but it is not entirely unconnected from the political control.
All these three theories have constituents, which are practical and appropriate for the current situation. Mercantilism acknowledges the requirement for a solid state to permit the operation of a liberal economy by equipping fixity and imposing liberal regulation around the globe meaning the dominant firmness theory. The most appropriate Marxist discussion regards the evolvement and underdevelopment with respect to the third world. Marxists acknowledge that underdevelopment is frequently provoked by outer economic agents and utilization from the evolved world. On the other hand, economic liberals’ optimistic and positive perspective of globalization moves towards a global economical framework bringing elevating affluence and, at the same time, eroding the nation state. It is obvious that none of the theories can completely and entirely account for the evolvement of the world, but the constituents of each of them equip understanding into the connection of politics and economics.
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Thus, while the traditional International Relations issues of peach and war have partly re-appeared after 9/11, the spreading of asymmetrical onrushes appears to be substantially discrepant from the inter-state conflicts, which swallowed the world during the first half of the 20th century. The hazard of war between states, the classical concentration of International Relations has decreased. Conflicts in the twenty-first century are progressively appearing within countries and are frequently connected to problems of development and underdevelopment, which are significant issues of International Political Economy. It might be debated that to some extent, the asymmetrical terrorist attacks appear to be the consequent of the conflicts of ideology between the liberal economies of the West and Islamist countries, which are endangered by the all consuming commercialism and chasing for profits by capitalism. Despite the fact that there are other significant profound incumbent intensities, there is a major connection between politics and economics that cannot be overlooked and disregarded.