Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

International political economy (IPE) and the demand for political philosophy in an era of globalisation

By Richard A. Higgott


Recent years have seen international political economy (IPE) become an increasingly bifurcated field of inquiry. On the one hand deductive, rational choice driven analysis has taken IPE increasingly in the direction of economic analysis toute courte. This has especially been the case in the United States. On the other hand, driven more by the largely inductive tradition in the non-economic social sciences, IPE, especially in a European and 'southern' context has become more, indeed as some would argue excessively, 'reflexive' in direction. One approach asserts its social scientific status while the other asserts its normative imperatives. This bifurcation is undesirable and, this paper argues, unsustainable in the contemporary era. The need to understand and explain globalisation should, in both theory and practice, make this bifurcation redundant. Fortunately there are elements of an evolving IPE that is increasingly historically and empirically grounded, analytically sophisticated and in search of tighter, less indulgent, more policy relevant, normative purchase on key issues of IPE such as justice, equality and development. It is doing this by paying close attention to work on these issues by normative political philosophers. Similarly, political philosophers are recognising the need to come to terms with the research agendas of IPE. This coming together is not an easy process. Indeed it is in its formative stages. But it is an important scholarly project, and one which should cast larger policy shadows over the global order, which is likely to gather momentum over the next few years

Topics: JC, HB, JZ
Publisher: University of Warwick. Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1999). (eds.) Approaches to Global Governance Theory,
  2. (2003). (eds.) Governance in a Global Economy: Political Authority in Transition,
  3. (2005). (eds.) Power in Global Governance, Cambridge:
  4. (2002). (eds.) Towards a Global Polity?
  5. (1970). (eds.) Transnational Relations and World Politics,
  6. (1997). (eds) Economic Science and Practice: The Role of Academic Economists and Policy Makers,
  7. (2000). A and Lake,
  8. (1963). a Dynamic Development Policy in Latin America,
  9. (2004). A New World Order,
  10. (2005). Accountability and the Abuses of Power in World Politics’,
  11. (1986). Against Parsimony: Three Easy Ways of Complicating Some Categories of Economic Discourse’,
  12. (1988). Anarchy and the Limits of Cooperation: A Realist Critique of the Newest Liberal Institutionalism’,
  13. (2003). Building the Normative Dimensions of a Global Polity’,
  14. (1999). Can International Organisations be Democratic?’ in I Shapiro and C. Hacker Gordon, (eds) Democracy's Edge's. Cambridge:
  15. Celine Tan Who’s ‘Free Riding’? A Critique of the World Bank’s Approach to NonConcessional Borrowing
  16. (2000). Challenging Triumphalism and Convergence: The Limits of Global Liberalisation in Asia and Latin America',
  17. (2006). Choking the South’,
  18. (1998). Constructing the World Polity:
  19. (2000). Contested Globalisation: New Normative Approaches’,
  20. (2002). De-globalisation: Ideas for a New World Economy,
  21. (2000). Debating Globalization, Cambridge: Polity Press. 49 ------- and Anthony McGrew,
  22. (2006). Deliberative Global Politics: Discourse and Democracy in a Divided World,
  23. (1997). Democracy in Hard Times: Economic Globalization and the Limits to Liberal Democracy’,
  24. (2005). Democratic Justice in a Globalising Age: Thematizing the Problem of the Frame’,
  25. (1998). Dental Hygeine and Nuclear War: How International Relations Looks at Economics',
  26. (1999). Development as Freedom,
  27. (1997). Drunken Walk or Functional Evolution',
  28. (1999). Economics, Politics and (International) Political Economy: The Need for a Balanced Diet in an Era of Globalisation',
  29. (2002). Engaging Globalisation: Critical Theory and
  30. (1995). Explaining the Globalization of Financial Markets: Bringing the State Back In',
  31. (1991). Explanation and Understanding
  32. (2006). Fair Trade for All: How Trade can Promote Development,
  33. Gilles Quentel The Translation of a Crucial Political Speech: G.W.Bush’ State of the Union Address
  34. (2000). Global Business Regulation, Cambridge:
  35. (2005). Global Covenant: The Social Democratic Alternatives to the Washington Consensus,
  36. (2001). Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order,
  37. (1998). Global Public Policy: Governing without Government,
  38. (1999). Global Transformations: Politics, Economics and Culture,
  39. (2002). Globalisation and its Discontents,
  40. (1995). Globalisation and the Changing Logic of Collective
  41. (1999). Globalization and History: The Evolution of the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Economy,
  42. (2004). Globalization Works,
  43. (2005). Globalization: A Critical Introduction,
  44. (1998). Has Globalization Gone Too Far? Washington DC:
  45. (1979). Ideologies and the New International Economic Order: Reflections on Some Recent Literature’,
  46. (1980). Implications from the disequilibrium of majority rule for the study of institutions,’
  47. (1994). In the Age of experts: The Changing role of
  48. (1990). Inquiry and Change: New Haven,
  49. (1993). Inside/Outside: International Relations as Political Theory, Cambridge:
  50. (1989). International Institutions and State Power,
  51. (1988). International Institutions: Two Approaches’,
  52. (2003). International Norms and Political Change',
  53. (1998). International Organization and the Study of World Politics’,
  54. (1999). International regimes and democratic governance: political equality and influence in global institutions’,
  55. (1982). International Regimes, transactions and change: embedded liberalism in the post war economic order',
  56. (1970). International Relations and International Economics: A Case of
  57. (2001). Justice and Fairness in International Negotiation. Cambridge:
  58. (2005). Justice Beyond Borders: A Global Political Theory,
  59. (1999). Justice Unbound? Globalisation, States and the Transformation of the Social Bond'
  60. (1998). Mad Money,
  61. (1962). Modern Political Analysis,
  62. (1945). National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade,
  63. (2003). Negotiating International Cooperation,’
  64. (2005). Participatory Development, Complicity and Desire: Deliberative Democracy and the WTO’,
  65. (2000). Political Theory and International Relations,
  66. (2002). Power and Governance in a Partially Globalised World,
  67. (1977). Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition,
  68. (2002). Power and Resistance in the New World Order.
  69. (1987). Power Production and World Order,
  70. (1997). Power Shift', Foreign Affairs, January/February
  71. (1948). Power versus Plenty as Objectives of Foreign Policy in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries',
  72. (1997). Rational Fools: A Critique of the Behavioural Foundations of Economic Theory',
  73. (1998). Rationalizing Politics: The Emerging Synthesis of International, American and Comparative Politics',
  74. (2000). Reinventing Authority: Embedded Knowledge Networks and the New Global Finance’, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy,
  75. (1981). Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory', Millennium: A
  76. (1998). Social Movements and the Problem of Globalization',
  77. (1999). Social Theory of International Politics, Cambridge:
  78. (1990). Speaking the Language of Exile: Dissident Thought in International Studies',
  79. (1988). States and Markets,
  80. States in the Global Economy: Bringing Domestic Institutions Back In. Cambridge:
  81. (2002). Structure, contingency and choice: A Comparison of Trends and
  82. (1990). The Borderless World,
  83. (1979). The Capitalist World Economy, Cambridge:
  84. (2002). The Construction of a Realist Utopia: John Rawls and International Political Theory’,
  85. (1995). The Crisis of Vision in Modern Economic Thought, Cambridge:
  86. (1997). The Dynamics of Globalization: Toward an Operational Formula',
  87. (1999). The Evolving Spheres of International Justice’,
  88. (1999). The Global Environment and
  89. (1988). The Global Political Economy: perspectives, problems and policies. Johns Hopkins
  90. (2006). The Globalizers: the World Bank, the IMF and their Borrowers,
  91. (1998). The High Debt Model versus the Wall Street,-Treasury-IMF
  92. (1997). The International Organisation of Credit: States and 48 Global Finance in the World Economy, Cambridge:
  93. (1999). The Law of Peoples,
  94. (1999). The Lexus and the Olive Tree,
  95. (1965). The Logic of Collective Action,
  96. (1996). The Myth of the Global Economy: Enduring National Foundations and Emerging Regional Realities', New Political Economy,
  97. (1998). The Myth of the Powerless State,
  98. (1996). The New Political Economy’,
  99. (1973). The Origins of Totalitarianism,
  100. (2006). The Politics of Globalisation: A Reader,
  101. (1981). The Politics of International Economic Relations,
  102. (2001). The Post National Constellation,
  103. (1999). The Return of Depression Economics,
  104. (1982). The Rise and Decline of Nations,
  105. (2004). The Sovereign State and its Competitors: An Analysis of Systems Change,
  106. (1998). The Triumph of Economics: "Rationality Can Be Dangerous to Your Reasoning"',
  107. (1998). Theories and Empirical Studies of International Institutions',
  108. (1992). Theories of Political Economy,
  109. (1998). Towards a New Paradigm for Development: Strategies, Policies and Processes', The Prebisch Lecture,
  110. (2002). Transnational Actors, Networks and Global Governance’,
  111. (1996). Truth and Power, Monks and Technocrats: Theory and Practice
  112. (1998). Turbo Capitalism: Winners and Losers in the Global Economy, London: Weidenfield and Nicholson.
  113. (1999). What Did Political Science Forget About Politics?'
  114. (1990). What Washington Means by Policy Reform',
  115. (2006). Winners and Losers in Globalization,
  116. (2005). World Poverty and Human Rights,’
  117. (2002). World Poverty and Human Rights: Cosmopolitan Responsibilities 53 and Reform,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.