Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy

1st Edition

Edited by Johnna Montgomerie


168 pages

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Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy offers students and scholars the first methods book for the critical school of International Political Economy (IPE). What does it mean to ‘do’ critical research? How do we write about the evidence we present? This volume explores our shared critical ethic to demonstrate how methods are transformative and reimagines research strategies as both an embodied practice and a social process.

By presenting methodologically informed ways of researching, enriched by real-life accounts from academics doing empirical research, the volume seeks to forge a new collaborative path that builds a critical ethic and modes of inquiry within International Political Economy. Substantive chapters advance the pluralism of the critical school of cultural political economy and seek to articulate its nascent research ethic. Short autobiographical vignettes articulate the professional journeys of contributors who ‘do’ critical political economy. There is practical advice on how to develop evidence from an iterative reflexive research strategy. Using this innovative format offers a guide to methods in critical political economy by engaging directly with the people doing research, not only as technical practice but also as lived experience.

The combination of research and practice presented throughout the book offers an extensive and authoritative framework for evaluating how methods are part of critical research and will be essential reading for all students and scholars of IPE.


Johnna Montgomerie has put together a volume on doing critical research in political economy with the sure touch and instinctive feel that could only be mustered by a person who has repeatedly had to ask themselves the same ‘how-to-do’ questions. It will prove to be an indispensable guide for anyone involved in this particular endeavour, whatever their career stage or years in the profession. The insights that are shared by seasoned political economists work wonderfully well to place the researcher right at the heart of their research, breaking down the barriers that arise when other scholars try to hide themselves in their allegiance to supposedly objective methods. This is therefore not only a glimpse of how to do critical research in political economy; it is also critical research in action. I recommend this book in the strongest possible terms. - Matthew Watson, Professor of Political Economy and ESRC Professorial Fellow, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick

Critical Methods in Political and Cultural Economy is a pathbreaking volume. Johnna Montgomerie presents a compelling case that critical political economy needs to take methods seriously and to do so in a way that recognises that values and ethical commitment to social change are embodied in the research process. The book initiates a crucial conversation or dialogue by asking critical political economists how they "do" their research.Their answers, and Montgomerie’s reflections on them contribute to developing critical methods that are throughly integrated with critical approaches and that enhance understanding of reality and the possibility of transforming it. - Professor Stephen McBride, Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Globalization, Department of Political Science, McMaster University

This book manages to provide both an accessible and creative account of critical research methods, providing a novel and much needed exploration of precisely what is ‘critical’ about critical international political economy. It can simultaneously act as an introduction for students and a resource for seasoned researchers to further their reflexive thinking about their own research practice. The author’s iterative exploration of methods and meaning, punctuated by autobiographical and methodological vignettes from researchers about their methodological practice provides a lively and engaging structure, through which the critical methods can be discovered and learned anew. An excellent book and a must for any IPE reading list - Professor Alex Nunn, University of Derby

This volume adroitly brings the issue of how we research to the study of critical and cultural political economy. Montgomerie wants to explore what critical and cultural political economists actually do when they conduct research - and, to this end, she brings together an exciting group of scholars. This is a fascinating and highly reccommended read. One that peers inside the minds of those doing political economy research outside of positivist traditions and makes a strong case for why we need to not just acknowledge but also sing the praises of the research methods and methodological approaches that we adopt in our work. - Juanita Elias, Associate Professor in International Political Economy, University of Warwick

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Reimagining Critical Methods, Johnna Montgomerie

Autobiographical Vignettes

Self-Reflections on ‘The Methods Question’ in Feminist IR/IPE, Anne Sisson Runyan

Tea and Text: Cultivated Intuition as Methodological Process, Naeem Inayatullah and David Blaney

Norms, political economy and serendipity: thinking pragmatically about IPE, Christopher May

Chapter 2 – Forging New Paths in the Critical SchoolJohnna Montgomerie

Autobiographical Vignettes

Redemptive Political Economy, Robbie Shilliam

Investigating Those You Love: Labour and Global Governance, Demitris Stevis

Discourse, Nature and Critical Political Economy, John Hultgren

Chapter 3 – Developing a language of methods in the critical school, Johnna Montgomerie

Autobiographical Vignettes

Agility, Intersectionality, and Deliberation, Kia Hall

(Dis)embodied Methodology in International Political Economy, Nicola J. Smith

Critical Methodology and the Problem of History, Samuel Knafo

Chapter 4 – Iterative Reflexive Research Strategy, Johnna Montgomerie

Autobiographical Vignettes

Doing Research in the Shadows of the Global Political Economy, Nicola Phillips

Reflections on the Archive as Critical Resource, Chris Rogers

Qualitative Research Practice and Critical Political Economy, Ian Bruff

Chapter 5 – On Evidence and Corroboration, Johnna Montgomerie

Autobiographical Vignettes

Everyday Economic Narratives, Liam Stanley

Network Analysis and Critical Political Economy, Matthew Paterson

Conclusion, Johnna Montgomerie

About the Editor

Johnna Montgomerie is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of the Political Economy Research Centre at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK.

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:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General