This article challenges three aspects of the 'American' school of international political economy (IPE) as presented by Benjamin Cohen and further elaborated by Dan Maliniak and Michael Tierney in this special issue. First, I question whether their depiction of the field is accurate. What they describe is not so much the 'American' school of IPE, but the 'Harvard' school. IPE in America is a rich and varied enterprise; not so the 'Harvard' school. Second, and unfortunately, IPE in America is also highly centralized and hierarchical, and this gives the 'Harvard' school enormous latitude to influence the self-depiction of the field and in some ways also its trajectory. This is not healthy, either for IPE scholarship in America or beyond. Finally, notwithstanding the power and authority of the 'Harvard' school, we outside of America cannot abandon IPE to its grip. My suggested course of action is to continue engaging with those of our colleagues (both within and outside of this school) who are receptive to the wide-ranging pursuit of knowledge and who recognize that IPE is a field defined by its subject matter rather than by its commitment to a particular methodology.

Additional Metadata
Keywords American school, Data construction, Harvard school
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/09692290802524133
Journal Review of International Political Economy
Citation
Germain, R.D. (2009). The 'American' school of IPE? A dissenting view. Review of International Political Economy (Vol. 16, pp. 95–105). doi:10.1080/09692290802524133