Critical junctures and state actors: towards a micro-strategies approach of the global political economy

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  • 1 King’s College London, United Kingdom
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Scholarship in International Political Economy (IPE) has traditionally explored the systematic nature of global economies and, due to its founding moment in the 1970s, placed a particular emphasis on global capital movements. Famously, Susan Strange, one of the founders of the discipline, examined the new troubles around currency and monetary systems and called for a deliberate linking of the political and the economic, as well as the domestic and the international. Even though this call could not be timelier in the 21st century, already ridden with crises – contemporary mainstream IPE scholarship has shied away from examining complex relations of the domestic and the global, focusing instead on rational interests of voters, sectors and factors of production. The state, while relevant as an entity that aggregates these interests, is not included as an independent agent. This commentary argues that there is already important scholarship which places ‘the state’ at the centre of a complex global economy. But we need to delve deeper. In order to understand what ‘states do’, we also need to understand what ‘what state actors do’ and assess them as fundamentally purposive and independent agents. To make sense of the nexus of the economic and the political, the global and the domestic, we need to understand the interests, relationships and conflicts of individual state actors in the global political economy.

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  • 1 King’s College London, United Kingdom

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