Alternative perspectives of international political economy 2 - Essay Example

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Chapter 5 — "Alternative Perspectives of International Political Economy The International Political Economy (IPE) concerns states, markets, and society, but it also means so much more than this. Liberalism, economic nationalism, and security can also be attached to IPE…
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Alternative perspectives of international political economy 2
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"Alternative perspectives of international political economy 2"

In terms of IPE perspectives, states act in the national interest, markets by self-interest, and class conflict occurs between differing interests of socio-economic groups. Rational choice theory provides a platform of decision making from which an analyst can judge financial decisions based on economic, political, and social changes. Also known as public choice analysis, this critique attempts to explain why one choice or decision was made over a number of other alternatives. It is assumed that decision makers act in a way to reduce costs and maximize gains when making hard choices. Another factor that is assumed is that people or states make judgments based on the importance attached to each outcome. As an example, during the Cold War both the United States and the Soviet Union took steps to build new nuclear weapons in order to keep up with the other. These decisions were made based on not giving the other side an advantage, as otherwise it might force a surrender from the weaker state. While it is assumed that states make choices, economists argue that political leaders do since they are the ones elected to represent the people. Of course even though these leaders still have self-interest, they are required to interact with those around them in order to find the best solution for everyone. The second critique of IPE is constructivism, a theory that involves breaking something down or taking it apart to find the true reasoning for decision making. Some theorists, such as Alexander Wendt, have looked at how ideas and beliefs shape the decisions that states make. In other words, constructivists believe that state choices or decisions reflect the many number of social values and belief systems contained within society. While states are considered to be more of a political nature, they are also social actors since they are required to adhere to the social norms and rules that society chooses to live by. An example of this is when UN peacekeeping missions are tasked settle disputes and the same member nations (Canada, Norway, and many other European countries) tend to get involved each time. The reason is that these nations are in favor of peaceful means to settle disputes and favor dialogue over war. On the other hand, the feminist critique looks at many of these same issues but through a gender lens. Gender plays a large role in the social expectations for both men and women, and so it is assumed that this also takes place in economic thought. An example is that men often look to solve disputes through violence and war, as that is what they are accustomed to, whereas females tend to take a more diplomatic approach. As males have throughout history been in charge of such decisions, states have gone to war more often than not due to this difference between the genders. Feminism looks at how gender influences many political, social, and economic issues. Female IPE theorists often argue that studies on the subject are typically dominated by male opinions and points of view. They would argue that women should be better represented in international organizations, NGOs, and transnational corporations. Finally, the hegemonic stability theory believes that powerful countries are able to dominate the world economic system for a time, using their power to enact changes that are favorable to them only. History in filled with many instances of this, from the United States to Great Read More
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