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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group International Political Economy


IPE Research

International Political Economy (IPE) addresses the interplay between states, markets and society in a globalizing world. It is studied along two major research themes: (1) interests & ideas and (2) institutions. Interests & ideas of economic and political actors are a driving force behind international policies. Of course, IPE scholars attempt to specify these. But there are also IPE scholars who are interested in how these drivers are translated into outcomes. That transfer depends on the rules that structure behaviour of relevant actors: institutions.

IPE Research in Groningen: “It’s the institutions, stupid!”

In Groningen, IPE research focuses in particular, but not exclusively, on processes of institutional change. Rather than scrutinizing the impact of given institutional settings on the interplay of states, markets and society, the leading research thread is the dynamics of institutions. What explains the emergence of institutions in the realm of international political economy? The overarching idea is to come to grips with converging institutional settings in on-going globalization.

Convergence or divergence

Two themes pop up on the research agenda

Groningen IPE research on institutional change distinguishes between two themes. A first research line of the chair group addresses the problem of convergence. At a regional level, the studies zoom in on the emergence of and changes in trade, investment, and labour regimes. At the enterprise level, the research focuses on ‘corporate governance’ and the extent to which it converges between Europe and the United States.

The second theme is designed around the topic of transformation & integration and can be conceived of as a specific angle of incidence of the first mentioned theme of convergence. It focuses on the transition to a market economy embedded in a democratic order in the regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The key question is to explore and explain the emerging varieties of capitalism in Eastern Europe and the successor states of the Soviet Union.

Last modified:16 February 2017 11.30 a.m.