and the Phenomenon of Global Integration
Various theories and perspectives have been proposed by theorists and international relations observers in explaining International Political Economy (IPE). The most salient among these perspectives are Realism, Liberalism, and Marxism. These paradigms or ways of looking at IPE enables international relations students to study the forces at work in the international realm and analyze how these factors interact to create the state of affairs of the IPE. Through these perspectives, people can also take a look at how human nature, individuals, society, states, and markets relate to the economy and how they make it work.
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Liberalism differs with realism in as far as it allows other forces to determine the actions of states. Realism views states as unitary actors; liberalism views plurality as a part of the behavior of states. Furthermore, the interaction among states is not only dictated by power and politics, economics is also part of the agenda. The decisions of states may be easily influenced by culture, by the types of government or the prevailing economic system. In this regard, cooperation and interaction among states is not impossible, it may also help each state achieve peace and order. In this state of affairs, the international system becomes less anarchic and becomes an arena of cooperation among states.
Some liberal theorists hold that the international system provides avenues for integration even without the need for international organizations. This way, states can find reasons to cooperate together and maximize their national interests. The recent integration of the European Union and the proliferation of free trade agreements seem to bolster this argument. Another branch of liberalism, however, holds that states can only cooperate with the help of international organizations such as the United Nations.
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