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internationalpoliticaleconomycontrastingworldviews.pdf

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International Political Economy
International Political Economy: Contrasting world views is a major new
introductory textbook for students of International Political Economy that
combines theoretical perspectives, real-world examples, and comparative
policy analysis. Written by an experienced teacher and scholar, the text
is intended to give students an in-depth understanding of the core
perspectives in International Political Economy, which will allow them to
critically evaluate and independently analyze major political and economic
events.
Features and benefits of the text:





It is organized around the three major perspectives in the field: free
market, institutionalist, and historical materialist.
Each perspective is developed thoroughly via the presentation of its
unique thought model, its world view, and its application to real-world
problems.
It compares and contrasts different analytical and policy approaches
to a wide range of core issues such as trade, finance, transnational
corporations, development, and environmental sustainability.
It explains the role of key thinkers in the field, from Adam Smith, Karl
Marx, David Ricardo, and Thorstein Veblen to John Kenneth Galbraith,
John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and Susan Strange.
It contains boxed biographies, graphics, review questions, suggestions
for further reading, and a detailed glossary to enhance student
learning.
Raymond C. Miller has been national president of two professional
associations: the Association for Integrative Studies and the Society for
International Development. He was founding editor of Issues in Integrative
Studies. Professor Miller served as a member of the faculty at San Francisco
State University for 43 years, where he is now Professor Emeritus of
International Relations and Social Science.
International Political
Economy
Contrasting world views
Raymond C. Miller
First published 2008
by Routledge
2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN
Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada
by Routledge
270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2008.
“To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s
collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk.”
Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business
© 2008 Raymond C. Miller
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or
utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now
known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in
any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing
from the publishers.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Miller, Raymond C.
International political economy: contrasting world views/Raymond C.
Miller.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
[etc.]
1. International economic relations. I. Title.
HF1359.M557 2008
337—dc22
2007050656
ISBN 0-203-92723-0 Master e-book ISBN
ISBN 10: 0-415-38408-7 (hbk)
ISBN 10: 0-415-38409-5 (pbk)
ISBN 10: 0-203-92723-0 (ebk)
ISBN 13: 978-0-415-38408-7 (hbk)
ISBN 13: 978-0-415-38409-4 (pbk)
ISBN 13: 978-0-203-92723-6 (ebk)
CONTENTS
List of illustrations
Preface for students
Preface for instructors
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations and acronyms
1 The Field of Study Known as “IPE”
Historical background
Classical political economy
Review questions
ix
xi
xiv
xviii
xx
1
2
9
14
2 The Market Model and World View
15
The seven premises of the market model
Internal interactions of the market model
Logical consequences of the market model
Answers to basic economic questions
Comments
Review questions
18
21
29
32
36
37
3 Market Applications
National income and product accounts
International trade and the market
Balance of payments
Foreign exchange
The gold standard
Monetary policy
39
40
43
51
53
58
61
v
CONTENTS
The Keynesian revision and fiscal policy
Global connections
Review questions
73
81
83
4 The Multi-Centric Organizational Model and World View
86
The Veblen and Polanyi institutionalist challenge to the market model
Sraffa’s neo-Ricardian critique
The Galbraith critique and alternative 
Multi-centric organizational (MCO) model
Review questions
87
91
93
100
113
5 The Multi-Centric Organizational World View:
Critical applications
Problems of “free trade”
The global casino 
Ecological degradation
Corporate colonialism 
The MCO reform agenda
Review questions
6 The Classical Marxist Model and World View 
Premises of the classical Marxist model
Interactions within the classical Marxist model
The capitalist mode of production
Outcomes of the classical Marxist model
Review questions
7 Contemporary Applications of Marxist Analysis
Imperialism
Regularization theory—the social structures of accumulation
Marxism and feminism
Review questions
116
116
123
132
144
154
167
171
174
178
183
189
191
193
193
201
211
213
8 Summation and Review
216
Three world views compared
Three views on trade
216
223
vi
CONTENTS
Three views on transnational corporations
Three views on development
Three views on the environment
Review questions
224
226
232
235
Glossary of concepts
Suggested further reading
Index
237
254
256
vii
Illustrations
figures
2.1
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
4.1
6.1
The market model—a circular flow diagram
Comparative advantage
Fractional reserve banking expansion
Typical hierarchy of interest rates
Global connections (macroeconomic variables)
Multi-centric organizational (MCO) world view
Capitalist mode of production
23
45
64
69
82
105
183
tables
0.1
3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
4.1
5.1
6.1
6.2
7.1
8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
8.5
Political Science and Economics compared
U.S. national product and income accounts 2006
U.S. balance of payments 2006
Commercial bank T account
Federal Reserve Banks’ T account
Instruments of monetary policy
Demonstration of Keynes’s “low-level equilibrium trap”
The MCO and market models compared
Top 100 rankings of countries and corporations, 2004–2005
Modes of production through history
Declining rate of profit from changing labor–capital ratios
Colonialism and imperialism
Three world views in IPE—a summary
Three IPE world views on trade
Three IPE world views on transnational corporations
Three IPE world views on development
Three IPE world views on the environment
xv
42
51
63
66
67
75
112
148
182
188
201
217
224
226
231
232
ix
Preface for Students
For 43 years I have been teaching political economy, first American and
then international. I chose political economy as my field of study and
teaching because I wanted to make a contribution to the improvement
of the human condition. I came to the realization that without a solid
foundation in political economy, improvement programs are not likely to
succeed. Not only do I still believe that is true, but I also believe that
persons cannot consider themselves truly educated unless they understand
the basics of political economy. After all, we are really talking about how
the human world works.
Based on feedback from students during my teaching career, I have
tried to continuously improve the effectiveness of my presentation. My
goal has always been to give students usable knowledge: after completing
my classes, students should be able to read or listen to statements made
about political-economic issues with a deeper level of understanding that
enables them to make independent and critical judgments. In other words,
educated people need more than a “gut feeling” about whether or not they
agree with statements being made or an argument being put forth.
The development of your critical faculties in the realm of political
economy requires deepening your skills in several areas. First, you need
an understanding of how important institutions work. For instance,
understanding how money works requires an understanding of how
monetary policy is supposed to work. Monetary policy is closely related
to movements in price levels, which in turn affect ratios of exchange
between currencies. These relationships are complicated, but without an
understanding of them you could not make an independent judgment
on questions such as: “What is the correct value of the Chinese currency
in relationship to the U.S. dollar?” Or for that matter: “Why is such a
question important in the first place?” In 2007 many American officials and
politicians were contending that the Chinese currency was “undervalued.”
What does that mean? Why do the Chinese disagree? Understanding this
xi
international political economy
type of issue requires both political and economic information. Information
of this sort should definitely be covered in a political economy course, but
it should be explained in a way that does not require the use of the language
of mathematics. In my experience some students are comfortable with the
language of mathematics, but others are very uncomfortable. Therefore,
my classes and this text take a rigorous but non-mathematical approach.
Second, you need to develop a whole new vocabulary. Words do count.
Careful analysis requires careful definition of terms. A great deal of
misunderstanding can come unnecessarily from the sloppy use of terms.
I have identified, defined, and consistently used key terms, and a glossary
is provided near the end of this book for quick reference. The semantics
of political economy can be tricky, because different people may be using
the same terms but with quite different meanings in mind. For instance, a
term such as “capital” has multiple meanings, dependent on the context.
Unfortunately, the language used in financial discourse (such as stock
market reports) is often different than the language and the explanations
used by economists. Until the differences are cleared up, confusion can
occur. A related concern is the plethora of acronyms. Remembering what
they all stand for can be a challenge. Yet it is necessary to use them because
there are many instances when only the acronym is used in the literature.
Who, for instance, uses the full name of UNESCO when discussing that
organization? Not many people know the exact terms for which the initials
stand. Actually, the correct identification may not be all that important. It
is what the organization does that is important. But it can be frustrating
when a reader comes across an acronym that “doesn’t ring a bell.” I have
tried to avoid that problem, either by spelling out the name or by using it
frequently. A list of acronyms is provided near the front of this book.
Third, it is important to understand “where people are coming from.”
When people comment on political-economic issues, they are
understanding those issues from some perspective. Undoubtedly that
perspective is embedded in a comprehensive world view, whether they
know it or not. My strategy in organizing the material for this text is to
organize everything explicitly around three dominant world views. In my
opinion, once a person has a good grasp of these different world views, it
is possible not only to know where a speaker is coming from, but also to
know what he or she is likely to think about any political-economic issue.
For example, at the global level the dominant political-economic world
view for the last several decades has been the “free market.” Following
logically from the free market approach are policies promoting “free trade”
and the “free transfer” of funds between countries. Supporting and
embedded within the free market world view is an intellectual model of
how a free market works. That market model is the centerpiece of the
academic discipline of Economics. Therefore, in order to understand the
rationale for the market world view, one needs to understand the underlying
xii
Preface for Students
conceptual model of Economics. World view, however, goes beyond what
one is likely to encounter in an Economics class. Articulating an underlying
world view brings out the assumptions that view comprises about human
nature, the nature of society, the morally most desirable behavior, preferred
future outcomes, and so on. For instance, advocates of the free market
approach, such as the late Nobel laureate in Economics, Milton Friedman,
believe strongly that not only is the market the best analytical device, but
it is also the morally preferred decision-making system.
This text presents three major and rather different political-economic
world views. Initially they can be identified as free market, institutional,
and Marxist views on capitalism. This threefold division is not new in
the field, but the way in which the world views are presented is my own
construction. The pedagogical principles that I have tried to follow are
clarity, sufficient depth, and logical consistency. Each world view has its
own simple model of how things work, which are presented in the text.
The world out there is much too complex—“messy” if you will—to be
accurately and completely described by any model. Models, therefore, are
necessarily simplified “idealizations.” The intent of models is to provide
insight into how things work, not to capture every aspect of reality. For
instance, the market model assumes that the decisions of all actors are
determined by maximizing material interests. This assumption gives the
model logical consistency, but not descriptive reality.
For models to be helpful to your understanding, you need to put them
on a level of abstraction above everyday experience. On occasion that
elevation might prove difficult to achieve, but, based on my experience,
once you get there you will have a much clearer conception of how
different world views perceive the political-economic landscape. To assist
you in obtaining that clearer conception, I have included visual depictions
of the internal relationships of each of the three major models.
Good luck! I hope that my efforts reap intellectual benefits for you,
and that you will feel more confident making critical and independent
judgments about a variety of crucial political-economic issues.
Raymond C. Miller
Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Social Science
San Francisco State University
xiii
Preface for Instructors
I thought that it might be helpful to lay out for instructors as well as for
students the pedagogical strategy that informs the preparation of this
text. While doing that I will take the opportunity to identify the known
intellectual ancestors of my approach as well as to explicate some of my
pedagogical devices that might not be immediately evident.
As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I learned that
all academic disciplines are creations of communities of scholars. Each
develops a theoretical consensus that changes over time, sometimes quite
dramatically. In my teaching, therefore, I wanted to make sure that my
students understood that what one thinks about anything depends upon
the perspective from which one approaches it. To me, the only way to teach
that insight was to show how every discipline has a perspective embedded
within it. But to effectively show how a perspective influences the way a
person sees the world, it’s necessary to show how contrasting perspectives
interpret the same events. That means teaching comparative perspectives.
That endeavor cannot be effectively accomplished without a schema of
common categories within which the perspectives are compared.
World view is the organizing concept that provides for me the schema
of common categories, the common questions to ask. My presumption
is that everybody perceives and acts under the influence of some world
view. It’s a very anthropological concept, in which my first mentor was
Robert Redfield. In the 1950s he argued that world view is the shared
philosophy of life of a people that includes assumptions about the nature
of life and moral norms. He contended that all cultures construct their own
world views. In the 1960s Thomas Kuhn applied the world view idea to
scientific communities, though he initially called disciplinary world views
“paradigms.” Kuhn did not think that the social science disciplines were
sufficiently coalesced around agreed-upon research strategies for them to
be studied in the same way as disciplines like Physics. But despite Kuhn’s
xiv
Preface for Instructors
Table 0.1 Political Science and Economics compared
Dimensions
Political Science
Economics
Core subject matter
Forms, qualities, and processes of
governments
Power, governance, and policy
Production and distribution
Central concepts
Explanatory strategies
Normative orientation
Data collection
Data analysis
Organization and systems theories and
ideologies
Superiority of democratic pluralism
Voting surveys, case studies, and “great
texts”
Statistics, comparative analysis, and
interpretation
Supply and demand, exchange,
and choice
Market model and rational choice
Superiority of competitive market
Quantitative indices
Statistics and mathematical
modeling
advice, other scholars went ahead anyway and applied his ideas to the
social sciences. I did that myself in the early 1980s, creating a world view
schema for comparing disciplinary modalities of the seven conventional
social science disciplines. I filled in the boxes with my impressions of the
dominant themes in American social science practice. My comparison of
Political Science and Economics is relevant background here, as they are
the constituent disciplines of Political Economy.
These impressionistic contrasts helped my students understand how
disciplines differed on many dimensions and even where their disciplinary
instructors were coming from. Kuhn and some disciplinarians would
probably have been skeptical about the exercise, but my purpose was a
pedagogical one, not the rigorous stipulation of research strategies.
After all, academic disciplines are specialized communities with their
own subcultures. Some observers have even compared them to tribes.
Therefore, I have found that the anthropological concept of world view is
a useful device for understanding each discipline’s “outlook on life.”
When I was first asked to teach International Political Economy, I was
delighted to discover that IPE had a multiple-perspective approach built
in to the field. Three major and presumably incommensurate schools of
thought provided competing perspectives on how the global political
economy does and should function. From the beginning I organized
my class around comparing the three approaches. However, the major
textbooks were not primarily organized that way. They were more likely to
organize their presentations around history and/or themes, such as trade
and development, and to discuss the three perspectives within the context
of a particular theme. I felt that students would get a more coherent sense
of the differing perspectives if each one was presented as a complete
package.
xv
international political economy
Furthermore, I was not comfortable with the way that the schools
of thought were sometimes labeled. One popular text identified them
as “liberalism, mercantilism and radicalism” (Lairson and Skidmore,
International Political Economy), but all of these three labels have
misleading qualities. In the current American political discourse, liberalism
has almost the opposite meaning of its classic, nineteenth-century free
market meaning. I agree with Susan Strange that mercantilism privileges the
nation-state and gives insufficient attention to the role that transnational
corporations play in the global political economy. Radicalism seems more
of a Cold War political label than an accurate designation. After all, in
many respects the tenets of …
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