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“Instead of covering IPE from broad realist, liberal, critical, or whatever perspectives, Sobel takes one, very much up-to-date and non-paradigmatic rational choice perspective and uses it throughout the book. This really is the way it should be done!”
“Most other books leave the impression that political economy began in the 1980s, or are a morass of acronyms that most students will soon forget. International Political Economy in Context: Individual Choices, Global Effects is the one book that really renders effective treatments of the Big Ideas that shaped the political economy of the world over the past two centuries. Without that context one cannot possibly hope to understand what is happening today.”
“International Political Economy in Context’s strengths are its detailed, clear exposition. I read with delight the rather sophisticated analysis of difficult concepts like the balance of payments and the Bretton Woods meetings.”
As a scholar working on the IPE from a rather structural perspective, I have developed an overall positive opinion about this, rather agentic, perspective on the IPE. I will certainly use it and advice it to my students for this upcoming semester. It is a successful endeavor as it adequately strikes a balance between simplicity and depth. I am planning to use certain chapters of it, thereby making them essential reading(s), in order to provide an alternative, rather agential, source of the course of global political economy
For my methods course in international relations, this book has been classified as a supplemental reading. This is due to my course's focus on how to use IR data to answer IR and IPE research questions. Hence, the course is not theoretical, but Sobel's book is a nice accompanying guide book that clearly directs students towards the important and interesting questions in IPE research. It is easily accessible and provides an encompassing tour through various IPE topics, such as trade, private finance, collective action, interest groups, and international institutions.