Nikolay Eletsky Describing the preconditions, sequence and logic of researching the topic "Global Political Economy in...
Describing the preconditions, sequence and logic of researching the topic "Global Political Economy in Context of Evolution of Political-Economic Thought" (Global Journal of Human-Social Science: Economics. 2017. Vol. 17, Is. 1, P. 17-26), I’d like to mention three main points.
First of all, I was interested in the impact of fundamental changes in the socio-economic basis of society (which led to the transformation of methodological, theoretical and practically-applied paradigm of General Economic Theory) on the name of the science (from "Economy" to "Political Economy", and from it to "Economics"). It’s well known, that after the publication of the works of W. Jevons and A. Marshall, since the late nineteenth century, the term “political economy” began to be perceived as historically traditional, essentially inaccurate and outdated. In any case, in anglophone literature, new scientific developments in the field of General Economic Theory were firmly correlated with the term "Economics". Although the term "political economy" even kept somewhere to be used traditionally (e.g. in the title of "Journal of Political Economy", published by the University of Chicago), but the actual content of the research, largely, gravitated to the mathematical formalization of economic models – mainly of the neoclassical orientation.
The situation began to change in the last third of the twentieth century. Globalization and Informatization had got, as one of their consequences, the emergence of the different varieties of "new" political economy. There spread the concepts of "International Political Economy", developed in the 70-80- ies of the last century in the works of T. Sandler, C.W. Kegley, P. McGowan, B. Frey, R. Gilpin, J.A. Frieden, D.A. Lake and a number of other researchers. The real content of the researches of these authors was correlated with the study of political factors of economic decision-making in the field of international relations, on the one hand, and economic prerequisites and consequences of political decisions and actions, on the other. Thus, in fact, it appeared a new interdisciplinary research area at the intersection of International Relations Theory and International Economics. And although some representatives of neo-institutionalism (J. Conybeare, etc.) linked the investigated problems with the influence of property rights, but the actual content of a new interdisciplinary research directions it would be better to define as "international economic politology", because the just political-economic problematics – the study of property relations – was of minor importance.
Meanwhile, further development of globalization processes, the emergence of global added value chains, global property and global governance, the formation of global profits and strengthening economic power of the "ultimate beneficiaries" of the global economic interactions required scientific explorations in the context of the just political-economy approach. In this context, the studies in framework of international economic politology (albeit self-styled as "international political economy") have shown their insufficiency. It emerged the objective necessity of the development of the global political economy, for which the main problems are the problems of globalization of the production process, the formation of global value chains, global profits, global property and global economic governance. For me, a particularly important role in the comprehension of research approaches in global political economy played works of T.H. Cohn, R. Gilpin, J.M. Gilpin, T. Oatley, C. Lindsay, M. Wolf, J. Ravenhill, G. Young, M. Watson, R. O'Brien, M. Williams, V. Rittberger, M. Nettesheim, R. Desai, E. Thun, R. Wade and discussion estimates of other authors.
The next factor, caused my interest in this topic, is the obvious connection of the above mentioned issues with the extremely important for the modern world question of inequality. The inequality has always existed, but globalization and informatization have made this issue the most clear, sharp and painful. Unprecedented concentration of wealth in the hands of the "ultimate beneficiaries" contrasts sharply with the scale and dynamics of income as within developed countries (that they actively discuss the so-called "problem of 99%"), as, to an even greater degree, with the poverty of a significant part of the population in developing countries. It has become one of the causes of the catastrophic rise of the refugees flow to the wealthy countries of Europe. The US are also not spared from this problem that, in particular, had an impact on the results of the last presidential election. However, the prospects of this problem are much more dangerous. For nearest decades the world population will increase by several billion people, and almost all of this growth will occur in underdeveloped countries. And these new billions, being familiar, thanks to modern means of communication, with the level and way of life in affluent countries, will require the same level and lifestyle. The modern economy isn’t in a position to ensure that – mainly due to resource and environmental constraints. New billions will either tend to migrate to prosperous countries, or, in the case that this migration will not be possible, - to destroy the prosperous world. This is one of the most profound causes of terrorism and the occurrence of various antisocial phenomena. This problem cannot be considered outside of the context of formation of global property and global mechanisms of the allocation and assignment of benefits.
And finally, the third reason of enhancing my attention to the discussed topic is the revealed in the last time crisis of modern forms of globalism. It revealed the contradiction between objective conditions and factors of globalization, on the one hand, and actual to date mechanisms of regulation of global processes, on the other. In response to this contradiction, the concepts of fragmentarization of world economy and revival of neoprotectionism are originated. These phenomena develop against the background of increasing understanding that global governance is one of the forms of realization of interests of the global owners, those "ultimate beneficiaries" who have economic and political power in the modern world. Incomplete compliance of their decisions and actions to the objective requirements of economic development of civilization led to the formation of the modern system of contradictions of global economic governance, some of which I tried to describe in one of my recent publications (Nikolay Eletsky, 2016. Contradictions of Formation of the Global Economic Governance System. International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration. Vol. 2, Issue 10, P. 7-16; dx.doi.org/10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664- 5419.2014.210.1001). Obviously, the exploring of contradictions of the global economic governance requires a deepening of the political-economic aspect of the analysis. I am fully aware of the exceptional complexity of the addressed issues and of the need for concentration of efforts of a substantial number of researchers for critical political-economic comprehension of the contradictions and prospects of development of the modern global economic system.