A Critical History of the Economy
On the birth of the national and international economies
By Ryan Walter
Routledge – 2011 – 138 pages
Drawing on recent debates in critical International Political Economy, this book mobilizes the idea that the economy does not exist separately from society and politics to develop a detailed intellectual history of how the economy came to be seen as an independent domain.
In contrast to typical approaches to writing the history of economic thought, which assume the reality of the economy, the author describes the forms of intellectual argument that made it possible to conceive of the national and international economies as objects of intellectual inquiry. At the centre of this process was the analytical separation of power and wealth. Walter thus offers a broad historical perspective on the emergence of current IPE theory, while linking the field with contextualist intellectual history.
This important and innovative volume will be of strong interest to students and scholars of International Political Economy, International Relations, Economics, History and Political Theory.
Introduction Part 1: Context 1. Counsellors to Government 2. Genres of Counsel and the Administrative State Part 2: Counsel on Trade 3. The State’s Strength and Wealth 4. Strength, Wealth, and State Rivalry Part 3: Political Economy 5. Smith and the Economy 6. Smith and the International Economy 7. Ricardo and the National Economy 8. Ricardo and the International Economy. Conclusion
Ryan Walter is Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. His research interests focus on the history of economic and political thought.