Blind Spots in International Political Economy

How did so many scholars of international political economy miss or misconstrue the dynamics that define the present moment? This is the central question that animates a set of joint Special Issues that will be simultaneously published by New Political Economy and Review of International Political Economy next year, and which I will be co-editing together with Genevieve LeBaron, Colin Hay and Daniel Mügge.

Although many scholars of international and comparative political economy were reasonably confident that they understood (and in some cases had even predicted) the 2008 global financial crisis, a little over ten years on, it is no longer as clear that our current theoretical frameworks, key concepts and empirical preoccupations are up to the challenge of making sense of, let alone fashioning solutions to, the global challenge of times in which we live. The ubiquity of racism and xenophobia, the spiraling threat of climate crisis, the growth of populism and nationalism, the rise of the platform economy—these are just a few of the dynamics that political economists must seek to make better sense of if their challenge is to be responded to effectively.

This is a very exciting and potentially field-defining project that brings together a wide range of scholars to explore these important questions. The joint special issues are the product of a two-day workshop that was organized by SPERI at the University of Sheffield in March of 2019 and supported by my Leverhulme Trust visiting professorship grant.

This short video provides some insights into the central themes of this project: