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Book Review

2385 words - 10 pages

Critical Book Review: States and Markets
Susan Strange 1993

Susan Strange wrote States and Markets in 1994 and it was amazingly predictive of the future of the Internal Political Economy or Global Political Economy (IPE or GPE). Although there are some blind spots in her theory and mode, and she was not able to predict many things. She was still able to accurately describe the four main structures, which affect structural and relational power structures thereby directly affecting IPE.
* The model she proposes in this book is not based on rigid theories of international relations that give no room for debate, which are erroneously based on some preconceived assumptions. ...view middle of the document...

Strange does not stop with what the security structure provides, but elaborates about structural power provided to those who can provide security. The Security providers gain structural power through the ability to structure the production and financial structures in the world’s economy. The ability to have relational power to make the rules, will determine the structural power. This ultimately leads to a solid security apparatus that extends far beyond the borders of a nation and continent. Strange does not put enough emphases on security before anything else. She feels all structures are equal, but ultimately a stable security situation has proven to be the sole-determining factor in good economics and by default governance. The extreme, such as in Iraq 2003; there was a desire to make the Oil market more stable, which is a secondary structure according to Strange. The strategy of coercing one nation, made a credible threat to the rest of OPEC, thereby causing a rise initially followed by a fall that stabilized in price. Although Iraqi oil did not bring stability to the oil market in the long term, but this has caused more unpredictability in the market. This was not the expected outcome by the US; this was due the flawed belief in the coercive strength of military combined with a similarly flawed “Marshall Plan” with regards to post-war Iraq. It suffered from poor planning and political manipulation due to the America’s structural power. This poor planning and execution was imitated by successive Iraqi regimes. This clearly demonstrates the applicability of the security structure as part of Strange’s larger theoretical model she uses to analyze states and markets.

Production is simply negations between the State and Transnational Corporations over the supply and demand, in direct to the labor market’s capability to produce the item. The labor market needs to be able to do this at cost, high efficiency, and meet demand. These negotiations are guided by the state’s structural relationship, which is the authority, and the market represented by the TNC’s. Imagine two parties sitting at a negotiating table, discussing issues affecting both parties, but in decidedly different ways. The people in its society affect the authority with the labor market able to strike if pay and working conditions are not met, while the market is affected by the supply and demand of the item, ultimately their profit margins. This leads to different perspectives on the best solution to the problem in a prescriptive manner. The authority is not primarily concerned with the profits, but is affected by the market, as it wants a harmonious society. The market desires larger profits, but needs the people or manpower provided by the state. The authority still provides for the other three needs of its people, therefore it has the structural power to dictate the rules of the game. The relational power between the authority and market is most evident, since the market...

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