Chapter 1: Problematic premises: positivism, modernism and masculinism in IPE
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This chapter explores how feminist International Political Economy (IPE) is affected by the conceptualizations and power relations pervading conventional approaches to IPE. Its two entwined objectives are to survey how ‘problematic premises’ – of positivism, modernism and masculinism (PMM) – underpin, interact and constrain dominant modes of theorizing IPE, and to consider how these premises shape interpretations of, responses to, debates within, and the current theory/practice of feminist IPE. The author first clarifies key terms and organizational framing, then surveys how PMM commitments variously appear in orthodox International Relations (IR) and Economics and in both orthodox and heterodox IPE. This survey reveals PMM operating as both impediments to transformative critiques of capitalist racist patriarchy and as resistances to feminist IPE. While operating differently in different discourses, the interaction of PMM premises is especially problematic. The author then focuses on feminist IPE, considers its relation to PMM premises and surveys the expanse of feminist interventions, internal debates and continuing issues.