English · Português
ISSN 0102-8529 (Impresso)
1982-0240 (Online)
PUC-Rio - Página inicial Instituto de Relações Internacionais Revista Contexto Internacional

Vol. 37, N° 3, Sep/Dec, 2015

‘Out in the dark’: knowledge, power and IPE in Southern Africa

Peter Vale and Vineet Thakur


Benjamin Cohen’s disciplinary history of international political economy (IPE) begins with the premise that Africa has had little to contribute to this global discipline. Differing from this view, we argue that disciplinary histories such as Cohen’s elide the relationship between the discipline and its field. It is only through the juxtaposition of knowledge, power and politics that we can arrive at a fuller historical understanding of the international political economy. We further argue that political economy as an intellectual project has been central to the creation of the political economy of southern Africa. In a historical narrative of this idea in this region, we demonstrate that states and markets have remained prisoners of their mainstream intellectual manifestations, although subversive lives of political economy persist in some critical corners.

Keywords: International Political Economy – Southern Africa – Intellectual History – Regimes – Ideology

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