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International Political Economy:
An Intellectual History
Benjamin J. Cohen

Paperback | 2008 | $45.00 | £37.95 | ISBN: 9780691135694
224 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 7 halftones.
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The field of international political economy gained prominence in the early 1970s--when the Arab oil embargo and other crises ended the postwar era of virtually unhindered economic growth in the United States and Europe--and today is an essential part of both political science and economics. This book offers the first comprehensive examination of this important field's development, the contrasting worldviews of its American and British schools, and the different ways scholars have sought to meet the challenges posed by an ever more complex and interdependent world economy.

Benjamin Cohen explains the critical role played by the early "intellectual entrepreneurs," a generation of pioneering scholars determined to bridge the gap between international economics and international politics. Among them were brilliant thinkers like Robert Keohane, Susan Strange, and others whose legacies endure to the present day. Cohen shows how their personalities and the historical contexts in which they worked influenced how the field evolved. He examines the distinctly different insights of the American and British schools and addresses issues that have been central to the field's development, including systemic transformation, system governance, and the place of the sovereign state in formal analysis. The definitive intellectual history of international political economy, this book is the ideal volume for IPE scholars and those interested in learning more about the field.


"Cohen has produced a well-crafted intellectual history of the development of the subdiscipline of international political economy."--M. Perelman, Choice

"Benjamin Cohen has written a marvelous brief introduction to the development of International Political Economy (IPE) as an academic discipline. . . . It will be read widely but needs, and deserves, to be read critically."--Bill Dunn, Journal of Australian Political Economy

"Benjamin Cohen has written an excellent book in an engaging and witty style. . . . I enjoyed reading the book, and liked how differences between the American and British schools were laid out."--Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, Eastern Economic Journal


"A tour de force of the field of international political economy from its founding to the present with a focus on how individual personalities and real-world events merged to shape important debates. A key contributor himself, Cohen deftly probes the origins of this entirely new field of scholarship as a guide to its future."--David A. Lake, University of California, San Diego

"Engaging and highly accessible. This book offers the first comprehensive account of the origins and development of the academic discipline of international political economy. It is erudite, broad-ranging, respectful of the actors involved, sympathetic, and nuanced. This is the first book of its kind."--Ronen Palan, University of Birmingham

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The writing is superb--witty and engaging. The substantive discussions clarify and summarize without oversimplifying. Cohen is an ideal guide for this entertaining journey through the history of the field."--Jonathan M. Crystal, Fordham University

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Abbreviations xiii
Introduction 1
CHAPTER ONE: The American School 16
CHAPTER TWO: The British School 44
CHAPTER THREE: A Really Big Question 66
CHAPTER FOUR: The Control Gap 95
CHAPTER FIVE: The Mystery of the State 118
CHAPTER SIX: What Have We Learned? 142
CHAPTER SEVEN: New Bridges? 169
References 179
Index 199

This book has been translated into:

  • Chinese (Simplified)

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Benjamin J. Cohen:


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File created: 7/11/2017

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