International Political Economy: Subject Matter and Method

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2017-61-2-54-64

A. Oleynov (,
MGIMO-University, 76, Prosp. Vernadskogo, Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation 


The paper is focused on an inter-disciplinary field of academic research of international relations – international political economy (IPE). The author starts with a study of theoretical and methodological background and evolution of IPE with the aim to generalize the subject matter of the discipline and its method. These aspects of IPE are considered against the background of the subject matters and the methodologies of the traditional approaches to the study of international relations: the theory of international relations (TIR) and the international economics (IE). Eventually, the statement of IPE research fundamentals is articulated. Further on, the paper continues with a study of the conceptual and formal levels of the discipline. In the absence of a unified research design among the political economy scholars a general conceptual framework of IPE is formulated. The multi-level, multi-factor and multi-actor nature of international relations within this framework is analyzed in comparative way to the political and economic paradigms of international relations and further is verified by conceptualization of such a major phenomenon as the globalization. It is shown that from IPE premises the globalization is considered as a complex case that covers both material (goods, migration, etc.) and non-material (information, finances, etc.) processes involving all kinds of social formations in various fields of human activity. As a result, the IPE framework reveals more realistic causes and consequences of globalization to be compared with the theory of international relations or the international economics. Finally, the research realized in the paper concludes by stating the existence of a theoretical core in IPE and identifying its key elements. These elements are matched against the axiomatics of the traditional approaches to the study of international relations


international political economy, international relations, international relations theory, international economics 


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For citation:
Oleinov A. International Political Economy: Subject Matter and Method. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2017, vol. 61, No 2, pp. 54-64.

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