Sie sind auf Seite 1von 28

Strange Fruit: Susan Strange's Theory of

Structural Power in the International Political Economy


by Christopher May
Susan Strange has argued that structural power within the international
political economy (IPE) has four dimensions; security, production, finance,
and knowledge. The following article offers a discussion of this theory of
power that is both sensitive to the development of Strange's ideas, and to
a number of criticisms that might be levelled at them. It will briefly point to
the epistemological grounds for accepting Strange's eclectic approach as a
valid social science methodology. It will then argue that an understanding
of structural power is crucial for any social science before discussing
Strange's work on power in the international political economy. Finally, it
will examine some possible shortcomings of Strange's work and briefly note
the conclusions to which her theory more recently has led her.
Robert Cox has argued: "Theory is always for someone and for some
purpose. All theories have a perspective".1
Stranges perspective
developed over a number of years, starting with her work for Chatham
House on British financial policys international dimension, and slowly
becoming more focused on notions of economic power and how such power
structured international monetary relations. As these relations became
more disturbed during the late 1960s and early 1970s, she became
increasingly concerned with the international political economic dimension
of such issues, and started to question how power was being
conceptualised in explanations of international financial disruptions.
Thus there can be little doubt that Strange's theories serve a
purpose. Her theory of power was formulated to offer support for her
argument that the United States need not fail to lead, but can choose to
exercise its economic power not only for its own interests, but for those of
the international system as a whole. This argument was formulated as a
direct response to the declinist school of American hegemony.2
For this argument to be acceptable Strange needed a theory of that
explained how economic power could be exercised without overt coercion;
and why it was possible that, despite the widely held perception of the
erosion of capabilities in some areas, the United States was still the
predominant economic power in the global economy. What emerged was a
more general theory of structural power, which is an informative method
for analysing the international political economy and its problems.
Three strands in Susan Stranges work
There are three main strands to Susan Stranges work, of which this article
is mainly concerned with one - the analysis of structural power in the
international political economy. In addition, she has been concerned to
examine and criticise the direction that the discipline of International
Relations has sometimes taken, and has also produced a considerable body
of writing on what she has termed the finance structure, international
1

financial economics and politics. We will briefly discuss these other two
strands before exploring Stranges work on power, and should also note
that all three strands feed into each other. This typology is more for
convenience than a fixed division in her work.
Strange has made a number of criticisms of both the preoccupations
and the methodology of International Relations. She has argued that much
theoretical work is not really theory at all if theory should offer explanation
based on "principles independent of the phenomena to be explained". 3
Merely putting one event after another in a descriptive manner, without
explicitly linking them causally, cannot count as explanation. Neither can
the formulation of a new international taxonomy be characterised as a
theoretical explanation - naming and sorting does not explain.4
Perhaps more outspokenly, Strange maintained that merely importing
models and theories (with adaptations) from other social sciences (game
theory or systems theory, for example) does not produce explanatory
theories of international relations either. A theory of international relations
should be based on the study of international relations, not of some
supposedly parallel phenomena. However, while this makes some sense,
Strange may dismiss possibly useful theories by taking this position. 5
Crucially for Strange, theory "must seek to explain some aspect of
the international system that is not easily explained by common-sense". 6
Paradoxically, in part Stranges explanation of structural power is built on
what she herself calls "no more than a statement of common sense". 7 It
may be sufficient for us to draw a distinction between assumptions that are
common-sense and explanations that are common-sense, to overcome this
apparent contradiction. Strange has offered her assumptions based on
common-sense as an entry point into her more complex structural theory,
rather than as a theory in themselves.8
For Strange, the greatest misperception in International Relations is
that the international system has not changed, and never will. Many of the
failings of present theories stem from their attempts to make theoretical
statements that are insensitive to historical developments. 9 She argues
that social scientists need to be much more cautious in the claimed scope
of their theoretical statements, and to be aware of the limits and dangers of
stretching theory too far. Once it is understood that history and institutions
(and their history) matter, then ahistorical generalisations become an
extension of historically specific cases to the level of law. There is a need,
to which Strange responds, to develop theoretical statements which
incorporate historical time.
In her seminal article "Cave! Hic Dragones", 10 Strange was concerned
that
regime
analysis,
by
concentrating
on
inter-governmental
organisations, has too easily taken on the agenda of the more powerful
states in the international system. By focusing on areas of international
agreement, this analysis leaves aside vast areas of the international
political economy that are not on the agenda of the major state actors. 11
Despite their protestations, studies of interdependence are most often
concerned with intergovernmental bodies while ignoring other
transnational actors of equal importance.12
2

And just as importantly, she notes, regime theory does not require
the scholar to ask whose power a regime's principles, norms, rules and
decision-making processes most reflect. Nor does it question the sources of
power within regimes. "By not requiring these basic structural questions
about power to be addressed, and by failing to insist that the values given
predominant emphasis in any international 'regime' should always be
explicitly identified", she stated. Analyses too often take for granted that
the values of the powerful states are the values of the whole system.13
Much of Strange's work has been a response to these criticisms of
International Relations and International Political Economy. But if the first
strand of her work has been an attempt to safeguard the new IPE from
these shortcomings, in the second she has sought to fill a particular lacuna
in the analysis of the international political economy.
Building on her early work and research which was concerned with
the history and politics of the international monetary system, Strange has
been concerned to explain the financial structure.14 This second strand has
seen Strange publish a number of full-scale works15 and articles16 on the
international politics of money and credit, which have informed her analysis
of the international political economy in general. While this work has fed
into the theory of structural power - finance is one of the four structures - it
represents a substantial body of work in itself. However, below we will limit
ourselves to the discussion of its part in her overall theory of power.
We should note that by moving from a sectoral specialisation to a
more overarching concern with structural power and transnational
relations, Strange provided a model for her views on the direction that
study should take. For Strange, analysis of international political economy
should always be rooted in the sectoral level, which should inform the more
general analysis.17 But before we turn to her analysis, we need to first
examine some of the epistemological issues raised by her work.
Epistemology and the Eclectic Method
To help us understand Strange's methodology, it is useful to explore
Feyerabend's "methodological anarchism".18 Feyerabend's argument for
epistemological openness is a position that sits well with Strange's more
intuitive justification of her eclectic theory-building. However, Strange
herself has not explicitly made this argument, having only "just about
heard of Feyerabend".19
Feyerabend has argued that theories of logical empiricism and critical
rationalism "give an inadequate account of science because science is
much more 'sloppy' and 'irrational' than its methodological image". 20 The
imposition of methodologies built around falsification, the avoidance of ad
hoc hypotheses or ideas, and the priority given to measurable phenomena,
constrict scientific advance. Science has always advanced through a
process of error and deviation.
Theory (and science) develop by comparing current ideas with
others, not by just comparing current theory with experience. As no theory
3

is consistent with all the facts within its domain, for Feyerabend, to discard
ideas that do not fit the facts is pointless. Rather those ideas that fail in
some way in the competition with others are improved until it is they that
win. Then the improvement process can move to the new loser. 21 It is this
proliferation of theories that impels science forward, while uniformity
(Kuhn's normal science) impairs any discipline's critical power.
The evidence that we can use to falsify one theory may only be
available through the application of another. Here Feyerabend reverses the
process that Kuhn describes: it is not the emergence of anomalies
(evidence that does not fit the current theory) that bring forward new
theories, but the new ideas which bring forward new evidence. For Kuhn,
anomaly only appears against the backdrop of the dominant theory, and
only when there are too many anomalies to sustain the theory will a new
one emerge.22 Kuhn's seems to be a linear process, whereas Feyerabend
sees a constant mediation between facts and theory.23
This is not to say that theories should eschew rationality. We can
justifiably demand that a theory should give us a coherent account of its
world - "of the totality of facts as constituted by its own basic concepts",
but that is all we can demand. 24 Thus while we may still be able to refute
specific theories, there can be no justification for competing theories to
criticise how other theories have constituted their facts. Most importantly, if
we accept the argument that the thing and the idea of the thing cannot be
separated, then there can be no objective existing thing, only a known
thing as even its recognition involves mobilising one theory or another.
Feyerabend is then able to argue that "every methodological rule is
associated with cosmological assumptions, so that using the rule we take it
for granted that the assumptions are correct".25 Methodologies are only
inherently superior after we have adopted a certain ideology, and we may
have done so without ever having examined its limits, as well as its
advantages. The acceptance or rejection of ideology is a matter for the
individual, bearing in mind its limitations and what needs to be done.
Feyerabend argues that as all "methodologies have their limitations...the
only rule that survives is 'anything goes'". 26 Thus he seeks not to replace
one set of rules with another but to point out that the appeal to any set of
rules as a justification may not be sufficient to establish that one theory is
necessarily more scientific than another. It is this very clash between facts
and theory that constitutes progress in science. Not every irrational theory
holds the promise of new approaches, but it is only by trying different
methods and theories that we can see what happens, and reap the
benefits; the revelation of new facts or new coherent theories.
By problematising a positivist, empirically based conception of
science, Feyerabend shows that science is not necessarily scientific itself.
We can now agree that any theory is open to approaches and facts that
might be initially dismissed by methodological conservatism. If so we are
able to argue, as Feyerabend does, that anything goes. And if this is the
case, we can diffuse the classic level of analysis problem 27 by following
Buzan, Jones and Little; different theories are merely different lenses, each
giving a partial view of the totality. 28 Thus arguments that try to replace
4

one theoretical construct with another may be less than helpful. Not only is
International Relations unlike science, the very model of science to which it
aspired is revealed by Feyerabend as chimerical.
Susan Strange has made this case herself, noting that the starting
point for her eclectic approach to IPE was to be "open to the concerns and
insights of a variety of disciplines and professions" rather than falling into
the continuing dialogue of the deaf between International Relations' three
paradigms.29 Indeed, she is prepared to argue that there is "no inherent
incompatibility between a Realist approach to international issues and the
structural method of analysis developed mainly by Marxists and
dependency theorists".30 As this involves a none-too-common claim for
International Relations, we need to be clear how Stranges methodology
might dovetail with the position outlined above.
Although Strange is explicitly concerned with producing an
explanatory theory, she remains sceptical as to the possibility of an allembracing, all-explaining theory of IPE. She argues we simply do not know
enough about the significant variables or the links between them to offer
definitive explanations. It may be that there can be no satisfactory metatheoretical analysis of the international political economy. Thus analytical
disaggregation, built on sectoral studies is required before theoretical
statements with a wider salience can be attempted.
Strange has also argued that social science cannot confidently
predict, as the irrational forces it deals with in human relations are too
numerous (and their permutations probably countless) to allow laws to be
formulated.31 Strange often noted that the one social science that has
aspired to predict is economics. But, as she sees its record of success as
abysmal, she argues it offers little in the way of a positive example to other
social scientists.
Thus for Strange, many of the difficulties regarding theory and the
social sciences stem ultimately from social scientists' inferiority complex
and, specifically, the inferiority complex of political economists towards the
apparent rigour of economic science.32 However, if we accept Feyerabend's
arguments, then despite its patina of scientific objectivity, economics is
only one theory among many. There is little need for a theory of IPE to
model itself on economics, or economic theories.
Theories, for Strange, should be scientific in the sense that they
respect scientific virtues of rationality and impartiality, and at least aspire
to be systematic in explanatory propositions. Her position is thus similar to
Feyerabend's. Though she recognises the problems for the social scientist
in gathering evidence, a scientific attitude should be preserved.33
From the above, we can suggest that Strange's eclectic approach can
be defended against a positivist critique by utilising Feyerabend's
arguments 'against method'. And while Strange herself would not defend
her work in such a manner, it is useful to locate her methodology within a
wider epistemological context, not least because it reveals summary
dismissal of her ideas on methodological grounds as ideologically
motivated.

Authority, Markets, Values and Risk


For Strange, the central question for IPE is Who benefits? (or as she phrases
it 'Cui bono?'). 34 To look at who benefits one needs to know where power
lies and how this influences outcomes. Strange has stressed that:
... it is impossible to arrive at the end result, the ultimate goal
of study and analysis of the international political economy
without giving explicit or implicit answers to these fundamental
questions about how power has been used to shape the
political economy and the way in which it distributes costs and
benefits, risks and opportunities to social groups, enterprises
and organisations within the system.35
Broadly, there are three interconnected aspects of the international political
economy that Strange sees as being conditioned by structural power - the
continual bargains being struck between authority and market; the
ordering (or prioritising) of values in any outcome; and the allocation of risk
(which for Strange is the obverse of the allocation of benefit). For these
outcomes to be explained, an appreciation of structural power is required.
However, before we discuss structural power we need to understand why
these particular bargains and outcomes are important for Strange.
Authority/market bargains
Strange argues that politics and economics can be brought together by a
structural analysis of the effect of political authority (explicitly not only
states) on markets and conversely, of markets on those authorities. If
economics concerns the allocation of scarce resources, and politics
concerns providing public order and/or public goods, then any theory
bringing them together must take these different foci into account.
However, often each takes the other as given; studies of international
economic relations assume political order and vice versa. 36 Strange's
approach concentrates on "the authority-market and the market-authority
nexus" to ensure that the effects of structural power over the agenda of
such debates is recognised, as well as more standard analyses regarding
relational power.37
It is structural power that determines the relationship, or bargain,
between authority and market. Market solutions cannot play a major role in
the way in which a political economy functions unless they are allowed to
do so by the actor that wields economic power and possesses authority.
Strange stresses that it is not only the direct power of authority over
markets that matters, but also the indirect effect of authority on the
context or surrounding conditions within which the market functions. 38 It is
important to note the history of particular authority-market bargains; to
discover when and why key decisions were taken as well as who took them.
6

While these decisions may have become facts, in the past they were (and
implicitly still are) subject to structural power.38
This bargaining process not only involves states, but other national
and international actors as well; bargains may be between non-state actors
themselves or between these actors and states. Authority over a particular
relationship where a bargain is struck is not dependent on an actor being a
state. The outcome of the bargain will, however, reflect where structural
power lies in that relationship.39
Ordering values
If we are to analyse bargains between authority and market, and the
influence of power on these bargains, we should also consider which values
are being prioritised. When Strange discusses values she is concerned with
the "basic values which human beings seek to provide through social
organisation, i.e. wealth, security, freedom and justice". For Strange, the
simple but important point is that different societies differ in the
proportions in which they combine these basic values.39
These arrangements or combinations are not divinely ordained,
necessarily settled or the outcome of chance or fortune. They are the end
result of decisions taken in the context of man-made institutions and selfset rules and customs - they are historically conditioned. 40 Strange's aim is
to make IPE value-sensitive; recognising where values are being ordered
and traded off, and the history of such decisions and bargains. It is also
necessary to understand how and when ordering of values informs
analyses.41
If power is defined primarily in terms of the ability to create or disrupt
order in the international system, as it is in Realism, then security is
promoted above the other four values. And since international order is
often, though not always, disrupted by states, it is unsurprising that
Realism's prime concern has been with the relations between states.
However if power is defined in terms of the ability to create or destroy
wealth rather than order, and to influence the elements of justice and
freedom, then the analysis will need to take into account, and may even
prioritise, other actors and relationships.42
Strange argues that there is a need in IPE for a greater openness
about values. At present, "economics tacitly prefers efficiency and
international relations tacitly prefers peace" making it difficult to discuss
what other values are sacrificed for the sake of efficiency or peace, and
what other changes are obstructed. 43 Where power is used to promote a
particular outcome over another, values themselves are being ordered.
There can be no neutral cost-benefit trade-off.44
Allocation of Risk

Strange's explicit discussion of the allocation of risk has been limited to one
published article, though it is implicit throughout her writings on power.
When considering The Politics of International Surplus Capacity, or
analysing Casino Capitalism, one of Stranges concerns has always been
how the risk of upheaval stemming from certain bargains has been
allocated. In the one article explicitly concerned with risk she fleetingly
proposed a fifth structure - the structure of welfare - consisting of the
"politically determined arrangements which decide how and for whom, the
main threats to human life and contentment are avoided, alleviated or
compensated."45 She maintains that political power in any system is used
both to avoid risk (or threats), or at least to shift the risk elsewhere, and to
extend the opportunities for those holding power. 46 Thus questions about
the perceptions of risk, and the mitigation, allocation and management of
risk, are an important part of any analysis. Risk is a concept which is
"essentially unifying when it comes to looking at political and economic
issues and outcomes". An analysis can usefully ask: What is the nature,
incidence and origin of the risk? Perhaps most importantly: How have
markets and states created risks, and how have they attempted to mitigate
them, or to convert them into costs?47
For Strange, risk is the obverse of opportunity. To discuss
opportunities is to discuss risks. Studies of international relations can be
divided by the sorts of risks and opportunities regarded as central. In
Realist analyses the risk of war is often cited, while liberalism is concerned
with opportunities for the creation and enjoyment of wealth. It is also
illuminating to ask how societies perceive and manage risk, as this will
reflect their ordering of values. Identifying risks helps reveal the balance
between authority and market. However, in her more developed version of
structural power the discussion of risk remains on the relational level particular political risks - rather than as part of the structural analysis. This
is not to say that the allocation of risk disappears from Strange's analysis,
merely that after this brief appearance it submerges again into an implicit
part of her schema.
Power in the social sciences
The concept of power needs to be understood in two ways; in an
instrumental sense (what does it do?) and in a procedural sense (how does
it do it?). As power is "the fundamental concept in social sciences",48 we
shall first briefly examine one way structural power has been developed in
social science, before looking at Strange's theory. While recognising that
this brief exploration must be partial and pull out certain aspects of the
discussion of structural power while remaining silent on others, it will be
useful to locate the idea of the possibility of structural power in a discourse
outside Stranges own. This is not to suggest that there is a necessary link
between the literature discussed below and Stranges own work, but it is to
suggest that Strange should not be seen as developing an idiosyncratic
approach with no precedents.
8

Russell's concept is a good point of departure. Looking at power


throughout societal relations, he produced a parsimonious definition "Power may be defined as the production of intended effects". 49 He
expected that where "no social institution... exists to limit the number of
[those] to whom power is possible, those who most desire power are,
broadly speaking, those most likely to acquire it".50 Power here is an
attribute which exists for the taking. However more recent writers have
tended to emphasise the relational quality of power - that is, how it can be
understood as a product of relations between actors.
Blau, tacitly accepting Russell's definition, expanded the discussion
along behavioural lines; power "is the ability of persons or groups to
impose their will on others", 51 where their will is "the desire for an intended
effect". But he then went on to identify three more elements to his
understanding of power. First, power was seen as being a continuing factor.
The single incidence of influencing a decision outside an enduring
relationship is seen as separate. Second, to distinguish power from force it
is essential to recognise that there is "an element of volunteerism in power
- the punishment could be chosen in preference to compliance, and it
sometimes is - which distinguishes the limiting case from coercion" or force.
The sanction might be chosen if the perceived cost of compliance was too
high. Finally power is a product of asymmetrical relations. Where each party
has equal influence over the other, power does not play a major role in
decision making.
Blau argued that power within a relationship can be defined by four
basic alternatives to its operation. Where will is imposed there may be a
possibility of exacting a cost, making the relationship one of exchange
rather than imposition. Secondly, benefits 52 may be obtained from
elsewhere. Thirdly, force may be used to obtain the required benefits, or to
resist their removal. Finally, the relational benefits may be renounced,
sidelining the power relation in that particular sector. However, if actors
have insufficient resources, or no satisfactory alternative strategies, if they
are unable to utilise force or their needs are pressing, those able to supply
the relevant benefits will attain power over them. Under these conditions,
"their subordination to his power is inescapable, since he can make the
fulfilment of essential needs contingent on their compliance....[and thus]
differentiation of power arises in the course of competition for scarce
goods".53 For Blau, power and force are separate (though part of the same
continuum), and power is an exchange relationship which if necessary can
be resisted or challenged.
But for Lukes, even this expansion of the discussion is insufficient to
capture all aspects of power. Lukes identified three analyses of power,
each more powerful than the previous. First, there is a one-dimensional
view of power which focuses on behaviour when decisions are made on
issues over which there is some conflict of interest. Power is the element
that reveals why one party's interests take precedence over the other's. 54
The two-dimensional view represents a qualified critique of the focus on
behaviour of the first view. This second dimension in addition considers
ways in which "decisions are prevented from being taken on potential
9

issues over which there is an observable conflict". 55 The actor enjoying


power within a relationship may delay decisions (almost indefinitely) or
obstruct the decision-making process for a particular issue altogether.
Lukes' third view of power considers how potential issues are kept out
of politics altogether. Power here controls the agenda to obscure and hide
conflict, though potential conflicts will still exist, they may never be
actualised. There may be a "latent conflict, which consists of a
contradiction between the interests of those exercising power and the real
interests of those they exclude". 56 The prevailing actor, through the
operation of social forces and institutional practices, will define problems
and thus the choices of solution. By controlling the agenda, the decisionmaking process may be presented as fair and equitable because
unpalatable or unacceptable solutions for the dominant actor never reach
the agenda for consideration by other actors. Even where power is not
absolute, the agenda may be subject to modification by the more powerful
actor in a relationship.
Such a conception of power is important for any social science that
looks at relations within a society, however constructed. If power not only
settles outcomes within relationships but can, in effect, define those
relationships through control of (or at least influence over) the relational
agenda, it is, as Russell asserted, the fundamental concept in social
science. Without understanding power we cannot understand how
relational conflicts are resolved and how the actors' agenda are set, or
change and, for Strange, we cannot understand the history of sectoral
bargains between authority and market which shape the international
political economy.57
The bargain between authority and market identified above is
determined by power, both relational and structural.58
As in Lukes'
analysis, Strange sees this structural power as being crucial to an
understanding of power in general. While Realist writers have been
concerned only with relational power (or Lukes' two-dimensional
understanding), Strange argues that it is the less visible structural power,
informing the agenda, that needs to be examined for a meaningful analysis
of the international political economy.59
Structural power in the international political economy
Stranges theory of structural power did not spring fully formed into
existence in the mid-1980s. Rather, it developed slowly, partly as a
response to the lack of power analysis in international economics, and
partly as a way of disputing the America-in-decline thesis of Hegemonic
Stability Theory. This was then formalised in States and Markets as four
structures of power in the international political economy. These four
structures - security, finance, production and knowledge - at any one time
all contribute in differing weights to the structural power attributable to the
particular actor being analysed, be it a state, transnational corporation
(TNC), or international organisation. 60
Depending on the structural
10

interaction within a particular sector of the international political economy,


an actor's power over decision-making and outcomes may vary.
Crucially for Strange, there can be no fixed ordering of these four
structures, none is always more important than the others. Thus while she
may draw on Marxist analysis of the production structure, she is
unprepared to accord this structure a prior determining role.61
The Security Structure
Power in the security structure flows from the provision of security by one
group for another. They may in the process acquire advantages in the
production or consumption of wealth and special rights or privileges in that
society. "Thus the security structure inevitably has an impact on the whogets-what of the economy" both national and international. 62 Strange's
inclusion of the security structure in her analysis is rooted in an historical
understanding of the discipline's development. When political economy was
first elaborated in the eighteenth century, the two questions it was
concerned with were security - "safety of the realm" - and finance - "the
value of the currency". 63 Structural power continues to lie with those in a
position to exercise control over (both to threaten and preserve) people's or
society's security, especially through violence.64
Strange does not wish to dispense with a Realist analysis of the
security relations between states.65 She offers an analysis of the security
structure that is based on the balance of power, and for instance, differs
little from Morgenthau's discussion of the international system and how it
responds to the lack of authority. 66 But the key difference between a Realist
analysis and that offered in Strange's work is that the security structure
does not take automatic precedence. As a very few of the conflicts between
actors in the international political economy are pushed as far as the
utilisation of force, power in the security structure is not the conditioning
structure of international political economy, but instead is only a special
case, subject to pressures from the other three structures.67

The Production Structure


Broadly, Strange understands the production structure as being a society's
arrangements to determine what is produced, by whom and for whom, by
what method and on what terms. "The production structure is what creates
the wealth in a political economy." The interaction between the production
structure and the social groups involved in it influences outcomes and the
allocation of benefits. When a particular social group loses relative power,
changes are likely to follow in who produces what and how they are
organised, and thus who benefits from productive enterprise. And equally,
11

when methods of production change there will likely follow a shift in the
distribution of social and political power. In addition the nature of the state
and the use of authority over the market may be modified. "Change in the
production structure changes the very nature of the state. Its capabilities
are changed and so are its responsibilities."68
Strange agrees with the broad structural basis of a Marxian economic
analysis without accepting that it is the structure, it is but one of a
number.69
The struggle between classes influences change in the
structures of power, but does not determine such change, though at least
one writer has attempted to integrate Strange's structures back into a
Marxist-social relations approach.70
The analysis of the production structure has been taken furthest in
Rival States, Rival Firms, where it is suggested that states are now in
competition over the means to create wealth within their territory rather
than for domination over more territory. Where, in the past, states
competed for power as a means to wealth, now they compete more for
wealth as a means to power. National choices of industrial policy and
efficiency in economic management are beginning to override choices of
foreign or defence policy as the primary influences on how resources are
allocated.71
Changes in the production structure due to state policies and market
trends, transnational management strategies and changing technology
have altered the relative importance of the factors over which states have
most control, as opposed to those factors over which TNCs have most
control. States control access to territorial resources and the national labour
force. Firms control capital and technology, or at least now have
considerably better access to both. If we accept "that the relative
importance of labour and raw materials derived from land has fallen
dramatically in determining competitiveness, while that of capital and
technology has risen"72 we can see how changes in the international
production structure may have changed the roles of states and firms and
also how the allocation of benefits arising from production might have
shifted.
The Financial Structure
The third structure that Strange considers as a location of economic power
is the one about which she has written most. 73 She has argued that the
financial structure has risen in importance in the last thirty years and is
now decisively important in international economic relations. Strange has
emphasised that what is invested in modern economies is not money but
credit, and credit can be created - it does not have to be accumulated.
Therefore, whoever can gain the confidence of others in their ability to
create credit will control the economy.74 Political authority dictates what
money may be used, enforces if need be agreed monetary transactions,
and licenses and, if necessary, supports major credit-creating operators in
the system.75
12

In any economy, national, international or transnational, the power to


create credit implies influence over purchasing power (at least that based
on projected rather than realised earnings) and thus the ability to influence
markets for production. In addition, this power implies the ability to
"manage or mismanage the currency in which credit is denominated, thus
affecting rates of exchange with credit denominated in other currencies".
The financial structure, therefore, has two inseparable aspects: the
structures through which credit is created, and the monetary system(s)
which determine(s) the relative values, or exchange rates of the currencies
in which credit is denominated.76
The power to create credit is shared by governments and banks (and
much will depend on the political, and regulatory relations between them).
Exchange rates between the different currencies are determined by the
policies of governments and by markets (but this will depend on how much
freedom governments allow to markets). Both aspects of the financial
structure involve a bargain between authority and market, which will reflect
the power within the structure itself.77 While the balance may have shifted
explicitly away from authority, and towards markets, this does not
necessarily represent a replacement of the power of authority over
markets, authority still counts. Nor, it should be stressed, does this
represent an inevitable or natural shift, but is rather the result of a history
of specific bargains, based on decisions made by political authorities.78
For much of Strange's career she has argued that the disorder within
the financial structure, and the international economy as a whole, has been
the result of the United States exploiting its position "for its own particular
ends rather than for the general welfare". 79 Its financial pre-eminence, in
conjunction with its domination of the security and production structures, is
assured by its unassailable position as the issuer of the worlds preferred
medium of international exchange. 80 It is the history of decisions and
bargains originating with this authority that has shaped the financial
structure, and with it Strange argues the problems for the global economy.
As the volatile variables in the financial structure have multiplied, so
has uncertainty. This uncertainty has set off a vicious circle of risk-aversion
responses (such as futures trading or hedge funds), which in their turn have
contributed to the further volatility and "consequently to the general sense
of confusion and the faltering confidence in the long-term viability of the
global financial system". Far from stabilising the system by damping its
movements, these devices which were developed to deal with uncertainty
have actually exaggerated and perpetuated it. 81 And while this represents
a shift from authority to market, for Strange, it could not have happened
without the acquiescence, and decisions of the leading political authority,
the United States.
Power in the financial structure therefore lies in the ability of an
authority to create or control the creation of credit in the international
economy. That the authority itself is not creating the credit does not
necessarily reveal a lack of power, for while the authority is able to control
the provision of the credit created and command such credit as it needs,
financial structural power is still evident. 82
13

The Knowledge Structure


The final, and possibly most suggestive (and problematic) of Stranges four
structures is the knowledge structure. As Strange notes, power derived
from knowledge has been the most overlooked and underrated source of
power in studies of the international political economy. This is at least partly
because it concerns what is believed, what is known (and perceived as
understood or given) and the channels by which these beliefs, ideas and
knowledge are communicated, or confined, making its influence and role
hard to assess. Power in the knowledge structure lies as much in the
capacity to deny knowledge, to exclude others, as in the power to convey
knowledge.83 The power derived from knowledge most often stems from
consent, rather than coercion, authority being recognised on the basis of a
socialised belief system or the status conferred by possessing the
knowledge, and with it access or control over the means by which it is
stored and communicated. There is a clear parallel here to Haas' and
others' work on epistemic communities, regarding the power of intellectual
elites over agenda formation in international organisations.84
Strange has suggested a possible analytical framework, based on
three central changes within the knowledge structure itself. Analysis needs
to be concerned with: changes in the provision and control of information
and communication systems; changes in the use of language and nonverbal channels of communication; and changes in "the fundamental
perceptions of and beliefs about the human condition which influence value
judgements, and through them, political and economic decisions and
policies".85 More recently, she has admitted that in the knowledge structure
she is seeking to combine two rather different structural phenomena. On
one level there are "belief systems and their associated value preferences
that inhabit or validate some kinds of actions rather than others". On the
other change is apt to have "a direct and sometimes quite a substantial
effect on the bargaining power of actors as well as on the prioritised values
of the system".86 The distinction here is between action informed by belief,
and action informed by information. However, the knowledge structure still
requires more development to transcend the suggestive.87

Secondary Structures
For Strange, once the four structures above have been appreciated, then
other aspects of the international political economy can be considered as a
secondary level conditioned by the interaction of these primary
structures.88 Strange has identified the most important as: transport
systems; trade; energy; and welfare (where, unlike the welfare structure
14

she has proposed in an earlier work 89, this is more operational and less
concerned with the ordering of values).90
While these secondary structures bear a passing resemblance to the
issue areas in theories of interdependence, 91 for Strange this secondary
level can only be understood as a product of the four primary structures
and the power considerations therein.92 In these secondary structures
economic or political developments, and bargains over outcomes, are
conditioned by primary structural power. For any particular issue the
scholar needs to look beyond the superficial relational manifestations of
power to identify which actors are shaping the agenda of decision-making
and ruling out certain solutions or outcomes, without other actors
necessarily being aware of the way parameters are being set.
For Strange, part of the problem in International Relations and
International Political Economy has been the concentration on secondary
structures, not recognising the importance of the power relations within the
underlying primary structures. The implications of primary structural
change on this secondary level, and most importantly the growing
influence of the knowledge structure has informed much of Strange's
recent work.
Some Criticisms
Unlike some other theorists, Susan Strange has not attracted a wealth of
literature engaging with her assumptions, or offering critiques of her work.
This may be because as one of the originators of modern non-American
International Political Economy, other authors while not necessarily in awe
of Strange, are wary of trying to criticise what has been such a wideranging body of work. In addition until the appearance of States and
Markets, Stranges general theoretical position had always embedded
within sectoral subject matter (in her analysis of international finance in
Casino Capitalism or international trade in a number of articles for
International Affairs, for instance). It might also be possible that the
appearance of the word introduction in the sub-title to States and Markets
may sometimes lead to a premature dismissal of its theoretical content.
However, this is not to say that her work is beyond criticism, and indeed
there are three serious potential problems with her theory of structural
power. Perhaps of most immediate and widespread concern is her eclectic
method. As noted above, using Feyerabend's methodological anarchism
might not be the way Strange herself would defend her methodology, but
the parallels and resonances between the two are strong enough to give
such a position a certain salience.
These epistemological issues suggest a greater problem with
Strange's theory. While the inclusion of the fourth structure - knowledge - is
what makes the general theory so alluring, it also opens up a major
problem area inasmuch as it forces the theory to deal with issues that in its
current state of theoretical development it has difficulty understanding.
Strange attempts to use 'knowledge' and 'information' as interchangeable
15

terms, and by doing so suggest that the stuff of the knowledge structure is
somehow the same as money might be in the financial structure, a
resource that can be used.93 She defends this instrumentalist view of
knowledge-information by suggesting that what "the student of
international political economy is more immediately concerned with is the
nature of power exercised through a knowledge structure" rather than the
unresolved debates over the very nature of knowledge itself.94
However, this begs the most important question on which her
conception of the knowledge structure is based. How does knowledge
affect the other structures? For Strange, donning her instrumentalist guise,
it is the control of information and know-how, that enables structural power
to set the agendas in the other dimensions - security, finance and
production. But to carry this to its logical conclusion (as Ellehj does 95) is to
place the knowledge structure in a foundational role. If the control of
knowledge is the way agendas are set, and agenda-setting is a central role
of structural power, then knowledge issues must be prior. This is not the
direction in which Strange wishes to move. Her argument has always been
that the four structures interact, with none being necessarily prior in any
particular situation. The proposition that the knowledge structure could
condition all other structures would seem to go against the explicit theory
she has been building.
Having introduced knowledge in a structural form, Strange
immediately attempts to close the Pandora's box that she has opened. She
can only do this by requiring us to accept that knowledge is a resource.
While the discussion of belief systems teeters on the edge of opening up
issues of power and knowledge foregrounded by Foucault and others,
Strange constantly pulls back. Thus the knowledge structure in its current
state is one sided, and under-theorised. This is to say that while we can
accept that knowledge-information can be an instrumental influence on
action, there is another side to its influence. As Bourdieu has noted: "The
theory of knowledge is a dimension of political theory because the
specifically symbolic power to impose the principles of the construction of
reality - in particular, social reality - is a major dimension of political
power."96 Thus, even to claim that the knowledge issue is not problematic
is to make what Feyerabend might call an "ideological choice". If claims
about the nature of knowledge are political, then we need to account for
their interaction with the other structures Strange identifies, rather than
accept the use of knowledge-information as being a sufficient analysis of its
role.
Curiously, Strange sees the importance of knowledge (broadly
conceived) in the international political economy, yet closes her conception
of knowledge when suggesting its structural potential. If we are to use the
space opened up by the conception of a knowledge structure we need to
ensure that we include all those forms of knowledge that can be seen to
play a role in the authority/market bargains Strange sees as central to
understanding the international political economy. This must include more
than a notion of knowledge as information, not least of all because belief
always plays a role in the way choice, decisions and bargains are
16

conceived and recognised. It is the very ability to open up such areas to


analysis within a study of international political economy that is one of the
strengths of Stranges approach.
Having noted this problem within the knowledge structure, the next
step would be to re-theorise this structure to develop the theory's full
potential. Here we would need to engage with the notion of knowledge and
expand it to encompass not only resource/information based conceptions of
its role, but also the structure of belief, opinion and socialised thought
systems. In other words, we may need to understand the knowledge
structure as a concept coterminous with anthropological ideas of culture.
We need to include not only questions regarding what is known by whom,
but as importantly why certain truths are accepted as known, while others
are not, and how this agenda of truth is set and contested within the
knowledge structure. When we start to address these sorts of issues we can
start to fully recognise the interaction between the knowledge structure
and the security, production and finance structures.
But, there is another problem we also need to examine. Strange's
work seems to lack an explicit theory of change. This is not to say that
Strange is insensitive to change - quite the opposite, she has continually
argued that IPE must be built on an historical appreciation of changes
within the system. However, there is a tendency in her writings to assume
change and then explain it, rather than to understand the dynamics she
identifies. That is, while change appears in her work as a central historical
issue, there is little to suggest why change might happen, accept as a
reaction to change in other areas of the relations she is discussing.
While in her more recent work she has identified three main areas
determining structural change - technology, states and markets - she offers
little direct analysis of the dynamics of these determinates. 98 It may very
well be that the interaction of technological, market and authoritative shifts
determine changes in the primary structures, but this just moves the
explanation back a stage without an analysing what fundamentally causes
change - we still lack a way of understanding what drives this change.99
Strange has always argued against mono-causal explanations, and
decried determinism where change is theorised as the result of historical
processes (long waves, the decline of capitalism, class competition). She
stressed instead that change is the result of many factors. 100 However, if
we are to go beyond explaining and offer a theory of understanding, (from
how to why) we need to have a theory of what drives change at its most
basic level. In other words, Strange's theory of structural power seems to
assume a sort of social perpetual motion, with no driving force identified to
push the observed dynamic onwards.
We might suggest that Strange implicitly argues that competition
within the structures drives change - between states in the security
structure, between firms in the production structure, between creditcontrolling actors in the financial structure and between those who utilise
ideas in the knowledge structure. This seems to take the idea of
competition as natural, without offering a rationale for this belief. However,
Strange has suggested that a way round this problem may be to introduce
17

a socio-biological conception of competition at the root of change. This


might then be developed into a fifth structure, of competition, where
'natural competition's form and/or suppression might be decided. However,
as Strange recognises, this significant question is as yet undeveloped
within her work.101
Another way of approaching this problem, which relieves us of having
to grapple with the literature around socio-biology (which has its own
problems) might be to utilise Robert Coxs notion of contradiction and
conflict. Cox suggests that the confrontation between historical realities
and their conceptual representations (in Stranges terms between the
knowledge structure and its three co-structures) is a dialectal process which
can be seen as the root of changes in the international political economy.
This is attractive as it provides a motor which fits in with the structures
Strange proposes, and is drawn from a body of ideas that recognises
structures as crucial to its analysis. However, this use of what is essentially
historical materialism may attempt to make Strange a (neo) Marxist, where
she (at least as she understands herself) is not.102
While the problems discussed above are serious and to some extent
might be seen to compromise Strange's theory of structural power in the
international political economy, it is certainly not the aim here to dismiss
Strange's work. On the contrary, it is the very potential and suggestiveness
of this work that makes it essential that these problems are addressed in
our continuing engagement with her theory. The identification of these
problems represents a signpost for one particular research project, my own,
but should not be taken as the only way an engagement with Stranges
work could develop. The significance of Stranges work is the space it
opens up for new approaches to the study of the international political
economy, and as such the problems I have with her theory are indicative of
my concerns and interests.
Conclusion
Strange's own use of her theory of structural power has led her to argue
that changes in the four structures of power are altering the way in which
the international political economy is organised, and that the knowledge
structure is emerging as central to power considerations. Her analysis leads
her to conclude that power is increasingly non-territorial in nature, and
transnational firms or enterprises are increasingly important in the
international political economy.
Strange has argued that "the close coincidence of three things political authority; economic activity and exchange; and geographical
territory - no longer holds".103 While this is similar to Rosenau's work on
turbulence in international relations where he proposes the emergence of
two 'worlds' - one state-centred, one knowledge-centred - Strange explicitly
rejects this division, and insists that there is still only one world where the
four structures interact.104

18

It is "the information-rich occupations, whether associated with


manufacturing or not, that confer power, much more now than the physical
capacity to roll goods off an assembly line". This leads Strange to conclude
that the location of production is much less crucial than where key
decisions are made on what is to be produced, where and how it is
designed, and who directs sales successfully on the world market. Thus all
the statistics "so commonly trotted out about the US share of
manufacturing capacity, or the declining US share of world exports of
manufactures are so misleading - because they are territorially based".
What is essential for the location of power in the international political
economy is the share of world output that is under the direction of
executives of particular companies, not where it takes place.105
As the power relations between firms and states shift, an appreciation
of the firm in international political economy becomes more important after all it is the firms which are shaping the increasingly deregulated
international economy. This leads her to the conclusion that the relations
between states are only one aspect of the international political economy,
and that the producers of wealth - the transnational firms - play a key
role.106 There is a new diplomacy with three critical and intertwined
elements: "the bargaining among states for power and influence, the
competition among firms contesting the world market and the specific
bargaining between states and firms for the use of wealth-producing
resources".107 This three-way diplomacy; state-state, firm-firm and statefirm, is increasingly the way that bargains are struck within the
international production structure and benefits allocated.
Strange also argues that a 'global business civilisation' has emerged,
where authority, though still present, is far more dispersed and less
precisely defined. Transnational social networks combined with aspirational
elements within the international business class, has engendered a desire
to join this community/civilisation, which has led to the spread of American
liberal business/cultural mores.108 This analysis has some similarities, and
draws on some similar sources, as recent developments in Gramscian
analysis. Strange has been open to these ideas while seeing them as part
of the explanation, not the singular basis for change.109
Strange argues that the diffusion of this global business civilisation
from its original core in America to the rest of the world has led to a loss of
relational power and increased the asymmetry of power between states. A
few states, and for Strange most importantly the US, have expanded their
extra-territorial authority. Most of the other states in the international
system have seen their authority domestically and internationally eroded in
the face of structural change.110 As other states and their economies have
become integrated into this new arrangement, "their range of choice in
policy-making has been constrained much more than that of the United
States".111 In fact Strange has gone so far as to suggest that what has
emerged from these changes is an American empire based on its control
through this global business civilisation. If this is so, she suggests that a
new theory is needed to account for the way this empire has and continues
to develop.112
19

Finally we should note that Strange herself clearly sees her work,
especially in States and Markets as suggestive rather than offering final
answers.113 This leads to the question of whether Strange really is offering
a fully developed theory at all. This question is important, not least of all
because it conditions our engagement with her work. If she is offering a
fully developed theory then our critique needs to be primarily concerned
with the problems within her analysis. But if she is offering a research
programme, then we can develop the theory in ways that engage with her
work (and our perception of its possible shortcomings), but also explicitly
reflects our own positions, particular interests and perspectives. As noted
above Strange accepts that on the question of change considerable
theoretical work is still needed if we are to understand the underlying
dynamics within the four structures. To limit our claims for Strange's work
and suggest that it does indeed represent something more approaching a
research programme than a theory is not to devalue its significance in any
sense. Rather it is to reinforce the need for theoretical work that remains
open to new insights.114
It is fairly easy to identify within Strange's work both the negative
and positive heuristics that Lakatos proposes for research programmes. 115
The negative heuristic would require us to avoid dealing only with
secondary structures, avoid examining only the national or the
international, and avoid dividing off the political from the economic. The
positive heuristic would encourage us to pursue considerations of structural
power, the ordering of values and the importance of non-state actors. This
is not to say that the fit between Strange's approach and a Lakatosian
research programme is perfect, but it may be a useful way of looking at
Stranges social scientific project.
Susan Strange's work may be 'Strange fruit' indeed, not to
everybody's taste, but as a recent festschrift116 has indicated she is not
without a substantial body of admirers. What is interesting is that most of
the contributors point to Strange as a mentor and remark on her
encouragement of their own work, rather than offering reheated versions of
her work. Perhaps the most powerful and influential aspect of Strange's
work will be to have produced in her wake a group of followers, not
repeating and refining her every thought, but a group of International
Political Economy scholars prepared to engage with values and structural
power considerations, who do not accept agendas as given and who
recognise the usefulness of sectoral expertise.
NOTES:
The author would like to thank Susan Strange, Stephen Chan, Hazel Smith,
Norman Lewis, Roger Tooze, Chris Farrands and an anonymous referee for
comments on various versions of this article, and the issues its raises. As is
customary to point out however, any shortcomings remain the authors
own.

20

1.
R.W. Cox, "Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond
International Relations Theory", in R.O. Keohane (ed.), Neorealism and Its
Critics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1986) p207.
2.
For instance see P. Kennedy, The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers:
Economic Change and Military Conflict from 1500 to 2000 (London: Unwin
Hyman, 1988) and R.O. Keohane, After Hegemony: Co-operation and
Discord in the World Political Economy (Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1984).
3.
S. Strange, "Towards a Theory of Transnational Empire E.O. Czempiel
and J.N. Rosenau (eds.), Global Changes and Theoretical Challenges:
Approaches to World Politics for the 1990s (Lexington: Lexington Books,
1989) p.161. The definition of theory Strange uses here and elsewhere is
one drawn from the Oxford English Dictionary.
4.
S. Strange, States and Markets (London: Pinter Publishers 1988), p.10
and Strange, "Towards a Theory of Transnational Empire", op.cit., p162.
5.
B. Buzan, "States and Markets" (Book review) International Affairs
Vol.65, 1989, p.331.
6.
Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.11 and similarly Strange,
"Towards a Theory of Transnational Empire", op.cit., p.163.
7.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.29.

8.
This point is usefully elaborated in J.L. Richards, "States and Markets"
(Book Review) The Economic Record Vol.65, No.191, p.403.
9.
S. Strange and R. Tooze (eds.), The Politics of International Surplus
Capacity (London: Allen and Unwin, 1981) p.17.
10. S. Strange, "Cave! Hic Dragones: A Critique of Regime Analysis",
International Organisation Vol.36, No.2, Spring 1982. See also Strange and
Tooze, Politics of International Surplus Capacity, op.cit. p.9; S. Strange (ed.),
Paths to International Political Economy (London: Allen and Unwin, 1984)
p.117; S. Strange Casino Capitalism (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1986)
pp.170-1 and Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., pp.21-2.
11.

Strange, "Cave! Hic Dragones..." op.cit., pp.492-3.

12. For instance R.N. Cooper, The Economics of Interdependence:


Economic Policy in the Atlantic Community (New York: McGraw Hill Co.,
[1968, reprinted] 1980); R.O. Keohane and J.S. Nye, Power and
Interdependence. Second Edition [New York]: Harper Collins Publishers,
1989) or A.M. Scott, The Dynamics of Interdependence (Chapel Hill:

21

University of North Carolina Press, 1982) all of which concentrate on


intergovernmental organisations.
13.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., pp.21-2.

14. For Strange's own autobiographical reflections on her pre-academic


life see "I Never Meant to Be An Academic" in J. Kruzel and J.N. Rosenau
(eds.), Journeys Through World Politics: Autobiographical Reflections of
Thirty-four Academic Travellers (Lexington: Lexington Books, 1989).
15. S. Strange, The Sterling Problem and the Six (London: Chatham
House/PEP, 1967); S. Strange Sterling and British Policy (London: Oxford
University Press, 1971); S. Strange International Monetary Relations
[(Volume 2 of A. Shonfield (ed.), International Economic Relations in the
Western World 1959 - 71 (London: Oxford University Press, 1976) and
Strange, Casino Capitalism, op.cit.
16. S. Strange, "IMF: Monetary Managers", in R.W. Cox and H.K. Jacobson
et al. The Anatomy of Influence: Decision Making in International
Organisation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1974); S. Strange, "Still an
Extraordinary Power: America's Role in the Global Monetary System" (Paper
3) (with discussants section) R. Lomra and B. Witte (eds.), The Political
Economy of International and Domestic Monetary Relations (Ames: Iowa
State University Press, 1982) and S. Strange, "Europe and the United
States: The Transatlantic Aspects of Inflation", in R. Medley (ed.), The
Politics of Inflation: A Comparative Analysis (New York: Pergamon Press,
1982).
17. Strange and Tooze, Politics of International Surplus Capacity, op.cit.,
p.17; Strange, Paths to International Political Economy, op.cit., p.196 and S.
Strange, "International Political Economy: The story so far and the way
ahead", in W. Ladd Hollist and F. LaMond Tullis (eds.), An International
Political Economy (International Political Economy Yearbook No.1) (Boulder:
Westview Press, 1985) p24.
18.

P. Feyerabend, Against Method (London: NLB, 1975).

19.

Strange, personal correspondence with author.

20.

Feyerabend op.cit., p.179.

21.

Feyerabend op.cit., p.29-31.

22. T.S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: Second Edition,


Enlarged (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1970) p.65 ff.
23.

Feyerabend op.cit., p.31.

22

24.

Ibid., pp.284-5.

25.

Ibid., p.295.

26.

Ibid., p.296.

27. For an extended and expansive discussion of Singer's classic problem


see Hollis and Smith Explaining and Understanding International Relations,
op.cit. and B. Buzan "The Level of Analysis Problem in International
Relations Reconsidered", in K. Booth and S. Smith (eds.), International
Relations Theory Today (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995) pp.198-216.
28. B. Buzan, C. Jones and R. Little, The Logic of Anarchy: Neorealism to
Structural Realism (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993) pp.230-1.
29. Strange, "An Eclectic Approach", in C.N. Murphy and R. Tooze (eds.),
The New International Political Economy (International Political Economy
Yearbook No.6) (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1991) pp.33-4.
30. Strange and Tooze, Politics of International Surplus Capacity, op.cit.,
p.216.
31.

Strange, "Towards a Theory of Transnational Empire", op.cit., p.163.

32.

Strange, "IPE: The story so far...", op.cit., p.23.

33.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.24.

34. Strange, "The Study of Transnational Relations", International Affairs,


Vol.52 (1976) p.339 and Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., pp.13-4.
35.

Ibid., p.22.

36. Strange, "The Study of Transnational Relations", op.cit., p.344-5 and


Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.23.
37. Strange, "What is Economic Power, and Who has it?", International
Journal, Vol.30, No.2 (Spring 1975), pp.217-21 and Strange, Casino
Capitalism, op.cit., pp.29-30.
38. Strange and Tooze, Politics of International Surplus Capacity, op.cit.,
p.220. For state-state/state-firm/firm-firm triangular bargaining diplomacy,
see Strange, J.M. Stopford and J. Henley, Rival States, Rival Firms:
Competition for World Market Shares (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1991).

23

39. Strange,
"Protectionism
and
World
Politics",
International
Organisation, Vol.39, No.2 (Spring 1985) p.237; Strange, States and
Markets, op.cit., p.17.
40.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.18

41. Strange, "Structures, Values and Risk in the Study of the International
Political Economy", in R.J.B. Jones (ed.), Perspectives on Political Economy
(London: Francis Pinter Publishers, 1983) pp.210-1.
42. Strange, "Big Business and the State", Millennium: Journal of
International Studies Vol.20, No.2 (Summer 1991) p.245.
43.

Strange, "IPE: The story so far...", op.cit., p.24.

44.

Strange, Paths to International Political Economy, op.cit., p.x.

45.

Strange, "Structures, Values and Risk...", op.cit., p.218.

46.

Strange, "Still an Extraordinary Power...", op.cit., p.78.

47.

Strange, "Structures, Values and Risk...", op.cit., p220.

48. B. Russell, Power. A New Social Analysis (London: George Allen and
Unwin, 1938) p.10.
49.

Ibid. p35.

50.

Ibid. p12.

51. P.M. Blau, Exchange and Power in Social Life (New York: John Wiley
and Sons Inc, 1964) p.117, where he draws extensively on Talcott Parsons.
52. For Blau 'benefits' are what the lesser actor needs from the dominant
actor who is exercising power. For instance, B may do A's bidding because if
B does, A will continue to protect B from the influence of C. The benefit
enjoyed is that of protection.
53.

Ibid. p.140.

54. S. Lukes, Power: A Radical View (Basingstoke: Macmillan Education


Ltd, 1974) p.15.
55.

Ibid. p.20.

56.

Ibid. p.24.

57.

Strange, "What is Economic Power...", op.cit., pp.217-21.


24

58.

Ibid., pp.217-8; Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.23.

59. Strange, Paths to International Political Economy, op.cit., p.191;


Strange, Casino Capitalism, op.cit., pp.29-30; Strange, States and Markets,
op.cit., pp.24-5, 31.
60.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.26, 31.

61.
Strange, "Structures, Values and Risk...", op.cit., p.216 and Strange,
States and Markets, op.cit., p.26.
62.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p45.

63. S. Strange, "Who Runs World Shipping?", International Affairs Vol.52


(1976) p.346.
64.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.26.

65. Strange and Tooze, Politics of International Surplus Capacity, op.cit.,


p.12; Strange, "The Global Political Economy, 1959-1984", International
Journal, Vol.39, No.2 (Spring 1984) p.281 where this is made explicit.
66. Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.50 ff; H.J. Morganthau, Politics
Among Nations. The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: McGraw-Hill
Inc, 1993).
67.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.31.

68.

Ibid., p.87.

69. Strange, "Structures, Values and Risk...", op.cit., pp.216-7; and


Strange and Tooze, Politics of International Surplus Capacity, op.cit., p.216.
70. See R.W. Cox, "States and Markets" (Book review) Millennium: Journal
of International Studies Vol.18, No.1 Spring 1989, p.108 ff, which builds on
the comprehensive analysis offered in R.W. Cox, Production, Power, and
World Order (New York; Columbia University Press, 1987).
71. Strange, Stopford and Henley, Rival States Rival Firms, op.cit., p.1,
33 and 204.
72.

Ibid., pp.215-5.

73. Her early research work at Chatham House (where she was Research
Director) and later work both on the Ford Foundation's Transnational
Relations project and at the LSE, focused on international monetary

25

relations. See Strange, "I Never Meant to be an Academic", op.cit., p.433-4.


For her major works on the financial structure see footnotes 17 and 18.
74. Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.30. Strange here draws
explicitly on G. Simmel, The Philosophy of Money (Translated by T.
Bottomore and D. Frisby) (London: [No publisher given], 1978) which
discusses money as an expression of trust, and the problems inherent in
the destruction of that trust (say, by inflation) and the time it takes to
rebuild that trust.
75.

Strange, Casino Capitalism, op.cit., pp.25-6.

76. Strange, "Still an Extraordinary Power...", op.cit., pp.81-2 and


Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.88.
77.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.88 ff.

78. Strange, Casino Capitalism, op.cit., p.99; and Strange, "An Eclectic
Approach", op.cit., p.35.
79.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.96.

80.

Strange, "Still an Extraordinary Power...", op.cit., p.92.

81.

Strange, Casino Capitalism, op.cit., p.119.

82.

Strange, "Still an Extraordinary Power...", op.cit., p.82 ff.

83.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.115.

84. See, for instance, Haas "Obtaining International Environmental


Protection through Epistemic Consensus", Millennium: Journal of
International Studies, Vol.19, No.3 (Winter 1990) pp.347-63; and the very
useful P.M. Haas, "Introduction: Epistemic Communities and International
Policy Co-ordination", International Organisation, Vol.46, No.1 [Special
edition on epistemic communities] pp.1-35.
85.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.16.

86.

Strange, An Eclectic Approach, op.cit., p.7.

87.
For one direction such development might take see P. Ellehj, "Deux ex machina:
The Process of International Economic Co-operation", R. Morgan, J. Lorentzen, A. Leander
and S. Guzzini (eds.), New Diplomacy in the Post-Cold War World: Essays for Susan
Strange (Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1993), where the "knowledge structure"
becomes the foundation for the other three.
88.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., pp.135-6.

89.

Strange, "Structures, Values and Risk...", op.cit..


26

90.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.135 ff and chapters 7-10.

91.
See for instance Keohane and Nye, Power and Interdependence, op.cit. or R.W.
Mansbach and J.A. Vasquez, In Search of Theory: A New Paradigm for Global Politics
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1981).
92.
Strange, "The Study of Transnational Relations", op.cit., p.346 ff; Strange,
"Protectionism and World Politics", op.cit., p.234; S. Strange, "Defending Benign
Mercantilism" (Review Essay) Journal of Peace Research, Vol.25, No.3 (Autumn 1988),
p.276; and Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.135.
93.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.118.

94.
Ibid., p132, though in all fairness she does provide in a footnote a useful starting
bibliography for an investigation of these issues including works by Barthes, Foucault,
Habermas and others.
95.
Ellehj, op.cit., an article that take the first steps towards re-theorising the
knowledge structure.
96.
P. Bourdieu, Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 1977) p.165.
97.
M. Foucault, The History of Sexuality. An Introduction (London: Penguin Books,
1990) p.85 ff.
98.
Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.200; S. Strange, "The Name of the Game",
N.X. Rizopoulos (ed.), Sea Changes: American Foreign Policy in a World Transformed
(New York: Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1990), p245ff; Strange, Stopford and
Henley, Rival States Rival Firms, op.cit., pp.22, 34; and Strange, "An Eclectic Approach",
op.cit., p.38.
99.
K.J. Holsti, The Dividing Discipline: Hegemony and Diversity in International
Theory (Winchester,Mass.: Allen and Unwin, 1985) pp.46-7 makes a similar criticism of
"global society" theories.
100. Strange, Casino Capitalism, op.cit., pp.97-8, 146; and Strange, Stopford and
Henley, Rival States Rival Firms, op.cit., p.227 ff.
101. Strange, personal correspondence with author in response to a note raising this
issue but also see Strange, "Territory, State, Authority and Economy: A New Realist
Ontology of Global Political Economy" (Unpublished article for Robert Cox's
Multilateralism Project at the United Nations University) (Written during 1993), p.22 ff.
102. For Coxs brief notes on such a project see his "States and Markets" (Book
review) Millennium op.cit.. For his understanding of change see Social Forces, States
and World Orders op.cit. and Production, Power, and World Order op.cit..
103. Strange, "Towards a Theory of Transnational Empire", op.cit., pp.169-70; and
Strange, "Territory, State, Authority and Economy...", op.cit., p.3.
104. Strange, "Territory, State, Authority and Economy", op. cit, p.27; and J.N. Rosenau
Turbulence in World Politics: A Theory of Change and Continuity (Hemel Hempstead:
Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990).

27

105. Strange, "The Future of the American Empire", Journal of International Affairs,
Vol.42, No.1, (Fall 1988) p.5. For an earlier appreciation of America's position in this
regard see R. Vernon, "Rogue Elephant in the Forest: An Appraisal of Transatlantic
Relations", Foreign Affairs, Vol.51, No.3 (April 1973) pp.573-87.
106. Strange, "Big Business and the State", op.cit., pp.245-6 and Strange, "The
Transformation of the World Economy", in L. Babic and B. Huldt (eds.) Mapping the
Unknown: Towards a New World Order. Yearbook of the Swedish Institute for
International Affairs 1992-1993 (London: Hurst and Co. [for the SIIA], 1993) pp.45-6.
107.

Strange, Stopford and Henley, Rival States Rival Firms, op.cit., p.32.

108. Strange, "The Name of the Game", op.cit., p.260 ff. For an interesting parallel
analysis see S. Gill, "Economic Globalisation and the Internalisation of Authority: Limits
and Contradictions", in Geoforum (Special Issue: Regulating the Global Economy and
Environment) Vol.23, No.3 (August 1992) pp.269-83, or Gill, American Hegemony and
the Trilateral Commission (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).
109. Strange, "Territory, State, Authority and Economy...", op.cit., pp.15-6; and
Strange, "Wake up, Krasner! The world has changed", Review of International Political
Economy, Vol.1, No.2 (Summer 1994) pp.215-6. For Gramscian approaches see for
instance S. Gill (ed.) Gramsci, Historical Materialism and International Relations
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993).
110. Strange, "Towards a Theory of Transnational Empire", op.cit., p.167; and Strange,
"Territory, State, Authority and Economy...", op.cit., p.14.
111.

Strange, "The Name of the Game", op.cit., p.265.

112. Strange, "The Future of the American Empire", op.cit.; and Strange, "Towards a
Theory of Transnational Empire", op.cit. See the analysis of the power of American
international credit rating agencies which builds on an appreciation of Strange's
knowledge structure see T.J. Sinclair, "Passing Judgement: Credit Rating Processes as
Regulatory Mechanisms of Governance in the Emerging World Order", Review of
International Political Economy, Vol.1, No.1 (Spring 1994) pp.133-159.
113.

Strange, States and Markets, op.cit., p.230.

114. See I. Lakatos, "Falsification and the Methodology of Scientific Research


Programmes", I. Lakatos and A. Musgrave (eds.), Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1970) pp.91-196; J.E. Josling, "States and
Markets" (Book review) The World Economy Vol.11, No.4, December 1988
(Blackwell/TPRC) makes this point, though from a position informed by classical
economics.
115.

Lakatos op.cit. p.132 ff.

116.

Morgan, Lorentzen, Leander and Guzzini, op.cit.

28