E.H. Carr and IPE: An Essay in Retrieval
Although the work of E.H. Carr has a prominent place in the scholarly history of international relations (IR), it is notably absent from the discipline of international political economy (IPE). This is puzzling, because Carr's analysis of international politics places a strong emphasis on the organic connection between politics and economics on an international scale. On this reading, his principal publications on IR can also be seen to chart a sophisticated conceptualization of what I want to label historical IPE. This essay retrieves such a reading of Carr for the discipline of IPE. It begins by interrogating the way in which Carr's work has been appropriated by modern IPE scholarship, in order to highlight the limited use made of the political economy dimension of his research. I then explore the historical and political economy aspects of Carr's writings to consider how his contribution might advance recent contemporary theoretical debate in the discipline. I pay particular attention to how his work charts an historical conception of IPE that can synthesize and move beyond the rationalist/constructivist binary that currently dominates theorizing in the discipline.