By Joel T. Shelton
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Extra info for Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance: Social Transformation in Southeastern Europe
Disputes and exclusions emerged early on: According to the founding lore of the discipline, Adam Smith dealt a ‘mortal blow’ to Sir James Steuart, Smith’s well-known and better-traveled contemporary, when he failed to cite his fellow Scotsman’s An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Oeconomy (1767) in The Wealth of Nations (1776) – ‘even in places where his arguments directly confronted those of Steuart’ (Blaug 1991: x). Lest we assume the slight is accidental, a 1772 letter from Smith to William Pulteney suggests otherwise: ‘I have the same opinion of Sir James Steuart’s book that you have.
I then consider alternative understandings of conditionality derived from outside mainstream IPE – among them realist and Marxist accounts of conditionality found in international relations scholarship. Given the limits of these conceptualizations of conditionality, I consider insights from constructivist, cultural, critical, and poststructural approaches to political economy, suggesting that this array of recent work provides resources that can move scholarship toward a more pluralistic understanding of the field – and in the The Limits of International Political Economy 31 direction of a political economy of conditionality concerned with the social and subjective dimensions of the person as well as formal bargaining and institutional reform.
An engagement with contemporary debates in political economy suggests that political economy is still defined as much by what passes by in silence as by what is made explicit, particularly in the field of 29 30 Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance international political economy (IPE). Since the publication of Benjamin J. Cohen’s (2008) intellectual history of IPE, much has been made of the need to reconcile ‘American’ and ‘British’ schools in IPE characterized as ontologically and methodologically distinct (see Phillips and Weaver 2011).