A reconstructive critique of IPE and GPE from a critical scientific realist perspective: An alternative Keynesian-Kaleckian approach
This paper offers, first, a critique of the relative lack of economic theory in ‘British’ Global Political Economy and then use of neoclassical rational choice theory in American mainstream IPE from the perspective of critical scientific realism. Keynesian economic theories provide perhaps the most obvious alternative. Keynes’ General Theory has been followed by many, forming also the basis of Minsky’s long ignored but now, after the 2008-9 crisis, all of a sudden famous explorations on the mechanisms of financial markets. While a major leap forward, we argue that these theories are historically and conceptually limited. Keynes’ critique of neoclassical economic theory and his alternative theories of particularly the effective demand and of money and credit can be strengthened by following also a neo-Kaleckian approach which avoids some of the inconsistencies of neo-Keynesianism. We indicate where further conceptual work is required and provide several illustrations from the neo-Kaleckian and neo-Keynesian theory to suggest a partial agenda of further scientific work including the explanation of unnecessary and undesired global fluctuations, tendencies and crises and possible collective responses to them. We also suggest the possibility of going beyond Keynes and Kalecki in terms of a general field theory of global political economy that can accommodate the deep normative and institutional underpinnings of the historically evolving planetary political economy.
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