The Changing position of the State and State Power in Global Affairs- Views from two scholars in International Political Economy

Du Plessis, M. J. (1998)

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A great deal of enlightening work has been done since studies in international political economy have become a recognised academic discipline. This has changed our conception of the domain of international politics and economics. Still, there are some scholars who prefer to use old spectacles to view new problems. This review article concentrates on two books, one from each of these camps. Stephen Krasner's Structural Conflict - The World Against Global Liberalism, belongs to the realist camp which still embraces state-power ideas about international relations (IR), while Susan Strange's The Retreat of the State - The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy, belongs to the international political economy (IPE) camp, where emphasis is placed on multiple actors in the international arena. To determine the content of each book and to get clarity on the perceptions and approaches of each author the two books are discussed separately starting, first, with Krasner. This is followed by an examination of the central theme of each book - the role and nature of authority in international/global politics/economics. Here, some of the ideas of other scholars are highlighted, and certain theoretical issues are addressed. The paper concludes with a few ideas regarding change in the global environment in which we find ourselves, and the manner in which these have been addressed by the authors under review.

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