Beyond the Challenge of Neorealism: An Agenda for the Study of International Political Economy
The demystification of erroneous fashions has been an important element in Susan Strange’s contribution to the study of international relations: her efforts to point out the dangers of uncritically accepting the theory of hegemonic leadership and, consequently, the apparent decline of American power are well known (Strange, 1987; 1990). The same is true for her warning against embracing the concept of international regimes as the panacea for the ailing field of study of international organisations (Strange, 1983). In this chapter I will show how Strange’s attempts to furnish the tools for the study of international political economy challenge yet another myth within the field of international relations: the idea that most events in world politics can still be explained by making use of rational, utility-maximising actors, usually nation-states. Secondly, I will argue that the adoption of Strange’s framework allows for taking account of the condition of bounded rationality under which international actors have to act. I will thus make clear how the field of international political economy could benefit from the incorporation of such variables as domestic political structure, bureaucratic politics, and the cognitive belief systems of political elites.
KeywordsInternational Relation Belief System Bounded Rationality World Politics Complex Interdependence
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Evangelista, ML, Domestic Structure and International Change (forthcoming).Google Scholar
- Haggard, S. and R. Kaufman (eds), The Politics of Economic Adjustment. International Constraints Distributive Conflicts, and the State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992).Google Scholar
- Hettne, B., ‘The Future of Development Studies’, Paper written for the Agenda 2000 Conference at The Hague, Institute for Social Studies, 1992.Google Scholar
- Keohane, R.O. (ed.), Neorealism and its Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986).Google Scholar
- Keohane, R.O. and J.S. Nye Jr., Power and Interdependence. World Politics in Transition (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977).Google Scholar
- Metze, M., Kortsluiting. Hoe Philips zijn talenten verspeelde [Short-circuit. How Philips wasted its talents] (Nijmegen: SUN, 1991)Google Scholar
- Orr Jr., R.M., The Emergence of Japan’s Foreign Aid Power (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
- Strange, S., States and Markets. An Introduction to International Political Economy (London: Pinter Publishers, 1988a).Google Scholar
- Strange, S., ‘Traitors, Double Agents or Rescuing Knights? The Managers of Transnational Enterprise’, paper delivered at the Round Table Conference Les individus dans la politique internationale at Paris, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 1992b, mimeo.Google Scholar
- Tooze, R., ‘Economic Belief Systems and Understanding International Relations’, in R. Little and S. Smith (eds), Belief Systems and International Relations (Oxford: Basil Blackwell) 109–126.Google Scholar
- Verbeek, B., Anglo-American Relations 1945–1956. A Comparison of Neorealist and Cognitive Psychological Approaches to the Study of International Relations (Dissertation at the European University Institute, Florence, 1992).Google Scholar
- Waltz, K.N., Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison Wesley, 1979).Google Scholar