The discipline of international political economy faces a number of critical challenges at present, as it seeks to incorporate a number of relatively new issues, one of these being 'risk'. This captivating and enlightening study redresses the neglect of 'risk' in this field by focusing on objectivist rationalism. Highlighting some of the calculative practices rationalism makes possible, it demonstrates the deeply political nature of supposedly value-neutral technical pursuits such as accounting, auditing, the practice of statistics, sampling, and credit rating. All these practices are implicated in modernist forms of power and governance. The volume draws on work from various disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, political economy, and philosophy, to explain the apparent unravelling of the rationalist quest for more reliable forms of knowledge. It is highly suitable for courses on international relations/international political economy.
Contents: Introduction. Pre-Modernist Precursors and Modernist Practices: Narratives of risk: Fortuna and Virtù; The emergence of statistical knowledge; Governance and risk. Modernity as a Problem: Some theoretical observations. Modernist Attempts at Problem-Solving: Reading the IMF; Accounting and the use of normalizing, disciplinary power; Committing states to a multilateral agreement on investment. Metamodernist Attempts at Contextualizing Risk: Contextualizing risk?; Conclusion: an international political economy of risk; Bibliography; Index.