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Constituting International Political Economy

Kurt Burch and Robert A. Denemark, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-660-9
1997/253 pages/LC: 97-13955
International Political Economy Yearbook, Volume 10

"An invaluable corrective to the unduly ahistorical approach of much mainstream international political economy."—R.J. Barry Jones, International Affairs

"This is an important and interesting book, and is one of the first to consider how the emerging constructivist paradigm is impacting upon, and reconfiguring the study of international political economy.... Should be visited by all those interested in IPE."—John M. Hobson, Australian Journal of Political Science

"Constituting International Political Economy stands as further evidence of the restructuring of the study of world politics in a critical fashion.... an excellent guide to cutting-edge debates in the field."—Mark Neufeld


International political economy is both a discipline and a set of global practices and conditions. This volume explores how the two are related, illustrating the changing character of the global political economy, as well as changing perspectives on that character.

The authors first consider how social issues, policy concerns, and philosophical judgments help constitute IPE both as a worldview and as a discipline. A central theme here is the reciprocal creation of the discipline and the social practices said to comprise it.

Subsequent chapters illustrate the incongruence between the nature of the social world as alleged in IPE's premises—which often distortedly frame issues—and the alternative characterizations available from other social groups, behaviors, and approaches. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the tensions between "conventional" and "alternative" framings of the international political economy, raising questions about the nature, consequences, and insights of diverse approaches to IPE.


  • Introduction—K. Burch.
  • A Constructivist Manifesto—N. Onuf
  • Constituting IPE and Modernity—K. Burch.
  • Echoes of Commercial Society: Liberal Political Theory in Mainstream IPE—S.J. Rosow.
  • Economic Anxiety: Reification, De-Reification, and the Politics of IPE—N. Inayatullah and D.L. Blaney.
  • Of Markets and Men: The (Re)Makings(s) of IPE—A.S. Runyan.
  • Hegemony's Hegemony in IPE—N. Onuf.
  • Contesting Hegemony: Americanism and Far-Right Ideologies of Globalization—M. Rupert.
  • The Global Village and the Global Ghetto: Realism, Structural Materialism, and Agency in Globalization—W.S. Cox and C.T. Sjolander.
  • The Rational Constitution of Agents and Structures—J.C. Roberts.
  • The Limits to a Rationalist Understanding of IPE—R. Pettman.
  • Taking Off the Gender Blinders in IPE—J.S. Goldstein.
  • Constituting, Deconstructing, and Reconstituting IPE—J.K. Oliver.
  • Commenting on Constituting IPE—V.S. Peterson.
  • Constructive Criticism: Threats, Imperatives, and Opportunities of a Constitutive IPE—R. Tooze.