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International Political Economy: a pluralistic field of study – by Benjamin J. Cohen

January 24, 2014

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What is International Political Economy (IPE)?  Even for specialists, that is not an easy question to answer.  IPE is a widely recognized field of academic study.  Yet being multidisciplinary by nature, it is also difficult to define.  Clearly, IPE has something to do with economics (economy).  It also has something to do with politics (political).  And it somehow relates to the world beyond the confines of the individual state (international).  On these three elements, all scholars concur.  But that is about as far as agreement reaches.  In practice there seem to be many conceptions of IPE – a cornucopia of alternative views about what questions to ask and how to answer them.  The field is notoriously diverse.  In a new Elgar Advanced Introduction, I provide a guide to the remarkable pluralism that characterizes the study of IPE across the globe. […]

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