Geopolitical Economy: States, Economies and the Capitalist World Order

Research in Political Economy, Volume 30 (2015)

Edited by Radhika Desai

Submission deadline: 1 October 2014

Proposal Acceptances: 15 October 2014

Final papers due: 1 December 2014

This issue advances geopolitical economy as a new approach to understanding the evolution of the capitalist world order and its 21st century form of multipolarity. Neither can be explained by recently dominant approaches such as ‘U.S. hegemony’ or ‘globalization’: they treat the world economy as a seamless whole in which either no state matters or only one does. Today’s ‘BRICs’ and ‘emerging economies’ are only the latest instances of state-led or combined development. Such development has a long history of repeatedly challenging the unevenness of capitalism and the international division of labour it created. It is this dialectic of uneven and combined development, not markets or imperialism, that spread productive capacity around the world. It also ensured that the ‘hegemony’ of the UK would end and that of the US would never be realised, despite repeated attempts.

In geopolitical economy the role of states in developing and regulating economies is central. States’ mutual interactions – conflicting cooperative and collusive – and the international order they create are understood in terms of the character of national economies, their contradictions, and the international possibilities and imperatives they generate. Geopolitical economy as an approach to the world order is clearly anticipated in classical political economy up to and including Marx and Engels, though this becomes clearest if we take a fresh look at it untainted by neoclassical economics and associated discourses of neoliberalism, globalization and hegemony. Further intellectual resources for geopolitical economy include the classical theories of imperialism, the theory of uneven and combin
ed development as well as 20th century critics of neoclassical economics such as Keynes, Kalecki, Polanyi, Minsky and the developmental state tradition going back to List and Serra and forward to Amsden and Wade.

Papers that investigate any aspect of the world order, its theories or its historiography – whether contemporary or historical – in a way that relates to geopolitical economy as described above, or poses important objections to it, are welcome for consideration.

A non-exhaustive list of potential themes would include:

The international relations of early capitalism

Capitalism, imperialism and imperialist competition

Capitalism and the state
Combined development, capitalist and non-capitalist
Wars in Uneven and Combined development
International economic governance
International relations and international political economy theories in light of geopolitical economy
Development theory, the demand for a NIEO and the ‘rise of the rest’
The BRICs and emerging economies as combined development
Challenges to states’ economic roles: sources, strength, implications for geopolitical economy
Proposals should be sent to by 1 October 2014
Proposal Acceptances will be sent out by 15 October 2014. Papers will be due by 1 December 2014.

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