Beyond the Challenge of Neorealism: An Agenda for the Study of International Political Economy

  • Bertjan Verbeek


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.


International Relation Belief System Bounded Rationality World Politics Complex Interdependence 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

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  • Bertjan Verbeek

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