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Beyond rationalist orthodoxy: towards a complex concept of the self in IPE

Glaze, Simon (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Smith, Nicola Jo-Ann and Wincott, Daniel and Watson, Matthew (1969-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Department of Political Science and International Studies
Subjects:JA Political science (General)
HB Economic Theory
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:424
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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