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Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order Paperback – February 20, 2001

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691086774 ISBN-10: 069108677X

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Editorial Reviews

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Robert Gilpin is a Princeton University professor emeritus and author of The Political Economy of International Relations (1987), a landmark in the field of international political economy. The world has changed much in the 14 years since that work appeared. The cold war has ended; few vestiges of communism remain. Advances in technology have increased the interdependence of national economies, and regional economic cooperation has blossomed. Meanwhile, the information economy has risen. Originally Gilpin intended to issue a second edition of his classic treatise, but he found world changes too dramatic and his own ideas so different that a "wholly new book" on the subject was warranted, which he has prepared with the assistance of a coauthor. Two years ago, he wrote The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy in the 21st Century (2000) to describe the current state of the world economy. Global Political Economy complements that work and replaces Gilpin's earlier text by providing the scholarly, theoretical framework for examining how markets and the policies of nation-states determine the way the world economy functions. David Rouse
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Review

"An extremely well written, lucid, and persuasive analysis of international economic developments and their political implications and results, solidly grounded in history."--Arthur I Cyr, Orbis

"[A] scholarly, theoretical framework for examining how markets and the policies of nation-states determine the way the world economy functions."--Booklist

"Global Political Economy promises to be another classic and a much-consulted addition to academic library bookshelves."--Choice

"Robert Gilpin has written an important book. . . . Although he eschews polemics and writes in a low-key, analytical style, his forceful points serve as a needed antidote to Thomas Friedman's The Lexus and the Olive Tree and other facile works about the subject."--Christopher Layne, The Atlantic Monthly

"In this magisterial study Gilpin. . . shows he is second to none in his capacity to integrate political with economic analysis, and illuminate our understanding of the world political economy with historical and theoretical insights, devoid of the jargon that characterizes much contemporary IPE literature. . . . Gilpin's is an authoritative, but modest voice of common sense."--Martin Rhodes, International Journal of Financial Economics

"Global Political Economy is an excellent book. It represents a major and successful updating of The Political Economy of International Relations. Any person interested in international political economy can profit from reading it."--Jeffrey Hart, Journal of Politics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069108677X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691086774
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,286 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Hart on August 23, 2002
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This is an outstanding update of the author's earlier book, The Political Economy of International Relations (1987). It is meant to complement Gilpin's more recent work, The Challenge of Global Capitalism (2000). In Global Political Economy, Gilpin discusses a wide range of theories in the field combining careful textual analysis with advocacy of his own views. The author's own theoretical stance is one of "state-centric realism." He identifies with authors like Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hans Morgenthau, but not with what he calls the "systemic realism" of authors like Kenneth Waltz. While he admires and uses the work of contemporary economists, he also carefully differentiates his approach from theirs (in Chapter 3). Except for a brief acknowledgement of the difficulty of explaining European integration in state-centric realist terms (in Chapter 13) and a bit of defensiveness on the continued value of theories of hegemonial stability (in Chapter 4), Gilpin does a good job of defending his views.
The author does an excellent job of surveying recent work in economics without resorting to jargon. There are outstanding treatments of topics like the continued relevance of Heckscher-Ohlin trade theory, strategic trade, endogenous growth theory, and the new economic geography. The discussion of the globalization of international finance in Chapter 10 emphasizes the need to take into account the "increased interdependence of trade, monetary, and other aspects of the international economy" that results from "[m]ovement toward a single, globally integrated market for corporation ownership" (277). Chapter 11 provides a state-of-the-art discussion of the role of multinational corporations in the world economy.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By -_Tim_- on November 20, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robert Gilpin's Global Political Economy: Understanding the International Economic Order delivers what it promises by giving readers an understanding of economic relations among nations. Essentially, it is an introduction to the discipline of political economy, a survey of economic developments since World War II, and an analysis of the theories that compete to explain these developments. As an introduction to the field, it is both accessible and comprehensive, but extensive footnotes and a select bibliography provide resources for advanced students.

Gilpin begins with a rather pessimistic assessment of his colleagues: economists, he says, have a suite of highly developed analytical methods and theoretical models that are seldom applicable. Political scientists, on the other hand, rely essentially on intuition that is seldom informed by theory. Political economy, of course, is an attempt to move past these limitations. Political economists tend to study powerful economic actors who can influence prices. Realists, like Gilpin, focus especially on state actors while recognizing the increasing influence of global investors, multinational corporations, and NGOs. Political economists would take particular note that economies are embedded in social and political systems where the purposes of economic activity are decided. One society may use its wealth to build a fairly egalitarian welfare state; another might use it to develop military might, and a third might concentrate wealth in the hands of a small elite.

One of the striking features of the international economy is that "free trade has historically been the exception and protection the rule," even though the benefits of free trade have persuasive theoretical and empirical support.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Olli Rehn, EU Commission & Univ. of Helsinki on October 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
Robert Gilpin, Professor Emeritus Robert Gilpin of Princeton University, has done it again. Gilpin's Global Political Economy is a completely rewritten version of his classic The Political Economy of International Relations, which appeared back in 1987.
The latter has been standard reading in the courses on international politics and political science - and should have been for the students of economics and business administration as well. The new volume can be expected to meet with the same success.
Gilpin's new testament has been prompted by the changes in the world economy that have come about since 1987. The end of the Cold War removed the Soviet threat that had unified the United States, Europe and Japan. The globalisation of the economy has intensified. The breakthrough of information technology, and especially of the Internet, has boosted the importance of the knowledge-based economy. Together these factors have thoroughly shaken the foundations of governance of the world economy.
Gilpin does not subscribe to the pure free-market vision of economics. Neither does he accept such populism that puts all blame on globalisation:
"The idea that globalisation is responsible for most of the world's economic, political, and other problems is either patently false or greatly exaggerated. In fact, other factors such as technological developments and imprudent national policies are much more important than globalisation as causes of many, if not most, of the problems for which globalisation is held responsible."
Gilpin does not set the nation state free from its power and responsibility. On the contrary, he stresses the state's capability to influence economic development and job creation, even in a context of increasing globalisation.
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