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The Contested World Economy


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction and overview; Part I. The Three Orthodoxies in a Global Context: 2. The rise of European classical economic liberalism; 3. Economic liberalism from non-European perspectives; 4. Neomercantilist reactions in Europe and the United States; 5. Neomercantilism elsewhere; 6. European Marxist critiques of global capitalism; 7. The global diffusion of Marxism; Part II. Beyond the Three Orthodoxies: 8. Autarkic visions of economic self-sufficiency; 9. Environmentalist calls for a more sustainable world economy; 10. Feminist critiques of a patriarchal world economy; 11. Pan-African responses to a racialized world economy; 12. Religious and civilizational political economies of Pan-Islamism and Pan-Asianism; 13. Distinctive visions of economic regionalism for East Asia, Europe and the Americas; Part III. Ending at a Beginning: 14. The embedded liberalism of Bretton Woods; 15. The case for a wider history.

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A pioneering global history of the pre-1945 debates that forged the field of international political economy.

About the Author

Eric Helleiner is Professor and University Research Chair at the Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo. His previous books include The Neomercantilists (2021), Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods (2014), The Status Quo Crisis (2014), and States and the Reemergence of Global Finance (1994). He is winner of the 2020 IPE Distinguished Scholar Award (International Studies Association) and the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for Best Book in Historical International Relations (2016).


'Eric Helleiner has done it again - another classic to add to his ample record of outstanding historical scholarship. His monumental survey of the deep intellectual roots of the field of International Political Economy breaks entirely new ground and will serve as a master study guide for generations to come. The breadth of coverage is astonishing, introducing us to a huge gallery of long-neglected thinkers and ideas from every corner of the globe. The book is a must-read for anyone aspiring to literacy in the subject of IPE.' Benjamin Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara
'In a recent series of books, Eric Helleiner has been doing nothing less than rewriting the intellectual history of international political economy. This latest, his most ambitious yet, is a bold and generous work opening countless avenues for the scholars who will follow him.' Quinn Slobodian, Wellesley College
'Eric Helleiner has brought together a remarkably wide range of economic thinkers from around the world to illuminate the fractious and contested nature of debates in International Political Economy before 1945. But more importantly, he has also demonstrated that the history of global economic thought should not be read as a one-way diffusion from West to rest, but has rather been structured over time by multidirectional debate and reformulation from many corners of the globe.' Christy Thornton, John Hopkins University
'The holy troika of IPE thought - Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism - was always deeply suspect. European scholars often saw realism as an American apology for nuclear dominance, while mainstream US scholars never took Marxism seriously. Helleiner shows us the value of moving beyond such tired touchstones to embrace the real diversity of global IPE. Much of what we think of as new - environmentalism, feminism, (post)colonialism - is in fact quite old and well developed outside of the troika texts. To properly engage the debates of today, we need to understand and build upon rich traditions that we have omitted both by design and by default.' Mark Blyth, Brown University

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