Glaze, Simon (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
In this thesis I investigate the intellectual foundations of International Political Economy (IPE) in order to develop a more complex account of agency than that currently provided to the subject field by neoclassical economics. In particular, I focus on the thought of Adam Smith, whose ideas are gaining interest in IPE owing to an increasing recognition of his seminal contribution to the subject field. I investigate the secondary debate on Smith, his influences, his distance from his peers in the Scottish Enlightenment and his ongoing influence across the social sciences. I also analyse the thought of William James, and argue that his similarly influential concept of agency offers a complex view of the self that is complimentary to Smith’s account. I suggest that the framework of the self that these thinkers provide can present critical IPE theorists with an alternative concept of agency than the reductive account currently employed in the subject field. I argue that these theorists are unable to countenance such an alternative owing to their implicit acceptance of the analytical separation of economics and politics that became institutionalised after the Methodenstreit. I suggest that this is obscured by their commitment to normative interventionism, which I argue threatens to reiterate the universalist claims that they seek to challenge.
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