International Political Economy — What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

English: 2010 HDI (Very High) nations graph by...

English: 2010 HDI (Very High) nations graph by population size and region (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The social science concept of International Political Economy is a measure of a nation‘s law, politics and economics — and their effect on each other, and it’s worth to the world.  While this sounds complicated, it really isn’t, particularly if you think about the simple phrase itself.

In some aspects, it’s exactly what you think of when you think of how “strong” a nation is, particularly when you compare them socio-economically.  When you hear phrases such as “Nation A is stronger than Nation X,” or “Nation C has a stronger swing in the world than Nations G, E and F.”

Why is this an important thing to consider?  This is the measure of the whole machine: politics, law, the nation’s military industrial complex, state control of the economy and political freedoms work together (…or against) the rest of the “machine” of the country.  A country can have an extremely strong military, but with little social freedoms, this could very well work against the forward momentum of the nation if it’s regime is looking forward (as most of them are…).  However, another theoretical nation with a weaker military, but a strong Gini index and a strong Human Development Index may have a stronger IPE because the Grand Strategy of the nation is more in tune with what the people want in a democratic society.

It’s a simple concept — that has a complicated and involved explanation.  There’s a lot to know.  Check it out, there’s all sorts of really cool theories.  Everything from Marxist IPE theory to Realist IPE theory.

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Political Comebacks… Are they possible?

265005_10151214146056817_1276640492_nMany political careers — particularly in the late 20th and this, the early 21st century thus far, have ended in embarrassing ruin.  Bill Clinton, leaving office with some of the highest presidential approval rates in history, is often cited for jokes such as “having made the word ‘blowjobpolitically correct,” or having all sorts of goofy images posted of him that would otherwise be looked over as innocuous.  On the other hand, George W. Bush left office with among the lowest approval ratings in history — but in his retirement, the vehement rhetoric launched toward him, and his dismal approval ratings, have been softened by time.

Other political post-mortems have been much more hilarious.  Former Congressman Anthony Wiener resigned in disgrace after he accidentally posted a photo of himself on Twitter; which blew open a scandal of himself sending less-than-fully-clothed pictures of himself to women online.  Having resigned nearly two years ago, he’s now looking at making a comeback as a candidate for the Mayor of New York.

George W. Bush has essentially retreated to a private life — arguably because of the overwhelmingly negative view the people had on his Presidency; whereas Bill Clinton, while still as polarizing, has enjoyed overwhelming public support — even in the ever-existing shadow of his own sexual scandals in office.

Are such political comebacks possible?  Could George W. Bush or Bill Clinton [or Anthony Wiener in this case!] make a comeback in a positive light, or would their scandals and disgrace continue to follow them?