Award Date

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Political Science

Department

Political Science

Advisor 1

Jonathan Strand, Committee Chair

First Committee Member

Mark Lutz

Second Committee Member

Dennis Pirages

Graduate Faculty Representative

David Hassenzahl

Number of Pages

153

Abstract

Since the 1970s, the political-economic structure of global society has undergone drastic restructuring. International political economy is concerned with providing explanations for these changes. This thesis will provide an alternative view of international relations that is often marginalized in the mainstream literature. It will be argued that global society needs to be understood under the historical context of capitalism and the class relations that stem from it. Central to this argument is a Gramscian derived articulation of hegemony. Thus, hegemony will be conceptualized in this thesis as a transnational class that governs over global society through consent and coercion. While hegemony is usually understood as a dominant state or a collection of powerful states, the state-centric perspective that has persisted in international political economy will be rejected. Moreover, the driving force behind the reorientation of production, finance, institutions, ideas and social relations in recent decades is a transnational class movement of capitalism or what will be referred to in this thesis as neo-liberal hegemony. From this perspective, neo-liberal hegemony can be understood as a class configuration of productive forces, institutions, transnational firms, intellectuals, political elites and most importantly the role of ideas.

Keywords

Capitalism; Class; Globalization; Gramsci's theory; Hegemony; International political economy; International relations; Neoliberalism; Washington consensus

Disciplines

International and Area Studies | International Economics | International Law | International Relations | Political Science

Language

English