What is IPE?

What is International Political Economy?

An excerpt from an article by Michael Veseth

Abstract

International Political Economy (IPE) is the rapidly developing social science field of study that
attempts to understand international and global problems using an eclectic interdisciplinary array
of analytical tools and theoretical perspectives. IPE is a field that thrives on the process that
Joseph Schumpeter called “creative destruction.” The growing prominence of IPE as a field of
study is in part a result of the continuing breakdown of disciplinary boundaries between
economics and politics in particular and among the social sciences generally. Increasingly, the
most pressing and interesting problems are those that can best be understood from a
multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary point of view. If there is an “IPE Project”
its objective is to pull down the fences that restrict intellectual inquiry in the social sciences so
that important questions and problems can be examined without reference to disciplinary
borders.
IPE is the study of a problématique, or set of related problems. The traditional IPE
problématique includes analysis of the political economy of international trade, international
finance, North-South relations, multinational corporations, and hegemony. This problématique
has been broadened in recent years as many scholars have sought to establish a New IPE that is
less centered on International Politics and the problems of the nation-state and less focused on
economic policy issues. These scholars seek to create a new discipline of IPE that would
transcend the perceived limits International Politics and International Economics as fields of
study and research.

What Is IPE?

 

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