Jeffry Frieden is Professor of Government at Harvard University. He specializes in the politics of international monetary and financial relations. Frieden is the author of Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy (2016); and (with Menzie Chinn) of Lost Decades: The Making of America's Debt Crisis and the Long Recovery (2011). Frieden is also the author of Global Capitalism: Its Fall and Rise in the Twentieth Century (2006), of Banking on the World: The Politics of American International Finance (1987), of Debt, Development, and Democracy: Modern Political Economy and Latin America, 1965‑1985 (1991), and is the co-author or co-editor of over a dozen other books on related topics. His articles on the politics of international economic issues have appeared in a wide variety of scholarly and general-interest publications.
David A. Lake is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. He has published widely in international relations theory and international political economy. Lake’s most recent book is Hierarchy in International Relations (2009). In addition to over seventy scholarly articles and chapters, he is also the author of Power, Protection, and Free Trade: International Sources of U.S. Commercial Strategy, 1887-1939 (1988) and Entangling Relations: American Foreign Policy in its Century (1999) and co-editor of eight volumes including most recently Governance in a Global Economy: Political Authority in Transition (2003) andDelegation and Agency in International Organizations (2006). He is also the co-author of a comprehensive new textbook on World Politics: Interests, Interactions, and Institutions (2009). Lake has served as Research Director at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (1992-1966 and 2000-2001), co-editor of the journal International Organization (1997-2001), chair of UCSD’s Political Science department (2000-2004), and Associate Dean (2006-2011) and Acting Dean (2011-12) of Social Sciences at UCSD. He is the founding chair of the International Political Economy Society, and was Program Co-Chair of the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (2007). He is President-Elect of International Studies Association (2010-2011). The recipient of the UCSD Chancellor’s Associates Award for Excellence in Graduate Education (2005), he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1984 and taught at UCLA from 1983 to 1992.
Over the past thirty years, the study of international political economy underwent a remarkable resurgence. Virtually nonexistent before 1970 as a field of study, international political economy is now a popular area of specialization for both undergraduates and graduate students, as well as the source of much innovative and influential scholarship. The revival of international political economy after nearly forty years of dormancy enriched both social science and public debate, and promises to continue to do both. International political economy is the study of the interplay of economics and politics in the world arena. In the most general sense, the economy can be defined as the system of producing, distributing, and using wealth; politics is the set of institutions and rules by which social and economic interactions are governed. Political economy has a variety of meanings. For some, it refers primarily to the study of the political basis of economic actions, the ways in which government policies affect market operations. For others, the principal preoccupation is the economic basis of political action, the ways in which economic forces mold government policies. The two focuses are, in a sense, complementary, for politics and markets are in a constant state of mutual interaction. Most markets are governed by certain fundamental laws that operate more or less independently of the will of firms and individuals. Any shopkeeper knows that an attempt to raise the price of a readily available and standardized product—a pencil, for example—above that charged by nearby and competing shopkeepers will rapidly cause customers to stop buying pencils at the higher price. Unless the shopkeeper wants to be left with piles of unsold pencils, he or she will have to bring the price back into line with “what the market will bear.” The shopkeeper will have learned a microcosmic lesson in what economists call market-clearing equilibrium, the price at which the number of goods supplied equals the number demanded—the point at which supply and demand curves intersect
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