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Gramscian International Political Economy from a Feminist Perspective  

Pooja Rishi

Feminist Gramscian international political economy (IPE) is an interdisciplinary intellectual project that has focused both on theoretical and empirical analysis of women and gender within the field. Feminist Gramscian IPE emerged from the confluence of an eclectic body of work over the last several years encompassing fields as disparate as international relations, IPE, feminist economics, the literature on gender and development, and feminist literature on globalization. As with feminist perspectives in other disciplinary fields, Gramscian feminists have largely embraced postpositivist, interpretivist, and relational analysis while trying to maintain the emancipatory potential of their work for women the world over. Current Gramscian feminist analyses are firmly grounded and draw from early Marxist/Socialist feminist interventions. They have also engaged with the three major categories of analysis in Gramscian thought—ideas, material capabilities, and institutions—in order to understand hegemonic processes that function to (re)construct and (re)produce both gendered categories of analysis and practice. Feminist revisions of Gramscian IPE have focused on international institutions, rules and norms, while simultaneously shedding light on contemporary states and how they are being transformed in this current phase of globalization. Three central tasks that feminist Gramscian scholars may consider in future research are: to be more engaged with the notion of hegemony, to revisit the political methodology employed by many feminist Gramscian analyses, and to devote more attention to non-mainstream perspectives.


International Political Economy: Overview and Conceptualization  

Renée Marlin-Bennett and David K. Johnson

The concept of international political economy (IPE) encompasses the intersection of politics and economics as goods, services, money, people, and ideas move across borders. The term “international political economy” began to draw the attention of scholars in the mid-1960s amid problems of the world economy and lagging development in the third world. The term “global political economy” (GPE) later came to be used frequently to illustrate that what happens in the world is not only about interactions between states and that the GPE includes many different kinds of actors. The survey aims at a comprehensive picture of the different schools of IPE, both historically and as they have developed in the early 21st century. Authors of antiquity, such as Aristotle and Kautilya, explored the relationship between the political and the economic long before the term “political economy” was coined, presumably by Antoine de Montchrestien in 1613. The mercantilist writings of the 17th and 18th centuries, including those of Colbert, Mun, and Hamilton, argued in favor of the state using its powers to increase its wealth. List, writing in the 19th century, emphasized the tension between national economic self-determination and free markets. The 19th- to 20th-century iteration of the mercantilist view can be found in the form of economic nationalist policies, which link to a realist approach to international relations more generally. Theorists of the Global South have adapted economic nationalist policies to address the problem of development. The liberal tradition of IPE also has historical antecedents, beginning with classical political economy. Examples include the influential works of Locke, Hume, Smith, and Ricardo. After World War II, the economic writings of Keynes, Hayek, and Friedman were influential. Variants of neoliberal IPE can be found from the 1950s with scholarship on integration and from the late 1970s with scholarship on international regimes. Late-20th-century and early-21st-century liberal scholarship has also explored varieties of capitalism and economic crises. An alternative stream of IPE can be traced through Marxian political economy, beginning with the work of Marx and Engels in the 19th century and proliferating globally. This approach provides a critique of capitalism. Other critical approaches that have emerged in the 20th and 21st centuries include feminist global political economy and postcolonial critiques of liberal and Marxian analyses. Trends in scholarship include analyses of China and transition of the neoliberal order, queer theory for global political economy, and studies of growing trends toward precarious forms of labor. A final section discusses research beginning in the 1990s that is relevant to the global political economy of transborder transmission of disease, a topic of special concern in light of the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.