Dissent within the global political economy: four frustrations, and some alternatives

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  • 1 Cardiff University, UK
  • | 2 University of Birmingham, UK
  • | 3 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA
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While there has been a turn towards incorporating examples of dissent, resistance and alternatives in the Global Political Economy literature, this article claims that there is still a considerable absence of analysis of dissent in and against the global political economy. The authors identify four frustrations (which can be easily turned into suggestions). First, that resistance, dissent and alternatives, continue to be marginal to most attempts at understanding the global political economy. Second, when resistance and dissent are considered, often they are presented as discrete episodes of ‘protest’. The third ‘frustration’ points towards the types of questions the literature tends to ask of instances of resistance: why resist, and with what effect? This directly connects with the fourth frustration: effect is often seen narrowly, simply as ‘impact’. The discussion of these frustrations concludes that dissent and resistance are ultimately central to the configurations of actors, institutions, ideas and their power relations that constitute the global political economy, and our understandings of it.

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