A Critical History of the Economy: On the birth of the national and international economies, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Critical History of the Economy

On the birth of the national and international economies, 1st Edition

By Ryan Walter


152 pages

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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.

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

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.

About the Series

RIPE Series in Global Political Economy

For almost two decades now, the RIPE Series published by Routledge has been an essential forum for cutting-edge scholarship in International Political Economy. The series brings together new and established scholars working in critical, cultural and constructivist political economy. Books in the RIPE Series typically combine an innovative contribution to theoretical debates with rigorous empirical analysis.

The RIPE Series seeks to cultivate:

  • Field-defining theoretical advances in International Political Economy
  • Novel treatments of key issue areas, both historical and contemporary, such as global finance, trade, and production
  • Analyses that explore the political economic dimensions of relatively neglected topics, such as the environment, gender relations, and migration
  • Accessible work that will inspire advanced undergraduates and graduate students in International Political Economy.

James Brassett – Warwick

Eleni Tsingou – Copenhagen Business School

Susanne Soederberg – Queen’s

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economic History
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General