Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of Governance

Edited by Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips

Since the 1990s many of the assumptions that anchored the study of governance in international political economy (IPE) have been shaken loose. Reflecting on the intriguing and important processes of change that have occurred, and are occurring, Professors Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips bring together the best research currently being undertaken in the field. They explore the complex ways that the global political economy is presently being governed, and indeed misgoverned.
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Chapter 2: Levels of governance and their interaction

Colin Hay


This chapter seeks to introduce, in the most general terms, the concept of 'levels' within political economic analysis, reflecting on the stratified ontology of political economy on which it rests. The chapter develops an ontology of political economy, considering whether and to what extent it is accurate and/or useful to refer to political economic realities as presenting themselves to us in discrete stratified levels. In the process, alternatives to a stratified ontology are discussed, the debate about this in (economic) geography is reviewed and the implications for political economy are considered. Discussion then moves from the concept of levels in general to the question of the particular levels to which political economists make reference - in effect, to the specific levels which typically populate a stratified ontology (the local, the national, the international, the regional, the interregional and the global). The value of a stratified account of political economic systems and their development is considered and the implications are drawn out for an account of globalisation and its governance.

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