Portrait of Susan Strange in 1980
|Died||25 October 1998 (aged 75)|
|Alma mater||London School of Economics|
|Institutions||University of Warwick |
European University Institute
London School of Economics
|International political economy, structural power|
Susan Strange (9 June 1923 – 25 October 1998) was a British scholar of international relations who was "almost single-handedly responsible for creating international political economy". Notable publications include Casino Capitalism (1986), States and Markets (1988), The Retreat of the State (1996), and Mad Money (1998).
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Susan Strange earned a first in Economics at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1943; it would be twenty years before she established her reputation as an academic. She raised a family of six and worked as a financial journalist for The Economist, then The Observer until 1965, when she began to conduct full-time research. She remained a full-time researcher at Chatham House (formerly The Royal Institute of International Affairs). From 1978 to 1988, she served as the Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at LSE, and was the first woman at LSE to hold this chair and professorship. She served as Professor of International Political Economy at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy from 1989 to 1993. Strange's final academic post, which she held from 1993 until her death in 1998, was as Chair of International Relations and Professor of International Political Economy at the University of Warwick, where she built up the graduate programme in International Political Economy. She also taught in Japan, where between 1993 and 1996 she was several times guest lecturer at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.
She was a major figure in the professional associations in both Britain and the United States. She was an instrumental founding member and the first treasurer of the British International Studies Association and served as the third female President of the International Studies Association in 1995.
Positions on international relations
Strange played a central role in developing international political economy as a field of study in Britain. She claimed that in general, "economists simply do not understand how the global economy works" due to a poor understanding of power and an over-reliance on abstract economic models. However, she noted that political scientists also have a woeful understanding of international economics due to their emphasis on institutions and power. Thus she became one of the earliest campaigners advocating the necessity of studying both politics and economics for international relations scholars.
Power and international financial markets
States and Markets (1988) delineates four key channels that constitute power—security, production, finance, and knowledge; power is the ability to "provide protection, make things, obtain access to credit, and develop and control authoritative modes of interpreting the world". Strange posits that the most overlooked channel of power is financial access, which consequently becomes the most important one to comprehend; in other words, she argues that one cannot comprehend how the world works without a thorough understanding of international financial markets. To illustrate, Casino Capitalism, published in 1986, discusses the dangers of the international financial system, which she considered confirmed by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. In this book, she defined "casino capitalism" as a form of capitalism that is extremely volatile and unpredictable as a consequence of the "speculatively-oriented lifts" in finance capital. There is a financial "contagion" creating a huge instability in the international financial markets.
Her analysis in States and Markets (1988) focused on what she called the "market-authority nexus", the see-saw of power between the market and political authority. She maintained that the global market, relative to the nation state, had gained significant power since the 1970s and that a "dangerous gap" was emerging between the two. She considered nation states inflexible, limited by territorial boundaries in a world of fragile intergovernmental co-operation; "Westfailure" is what she called Westphalia. Markets would be able to flout regulations and reign free, creating more uncertainty and risk in an already chaotic environment.
Position on the International Monetary System
In Casino Capitalism Susan Strange problemizes the nonsystem that the international monetary system has become. She compares it with a casino whereon the foreign exchange plays as snakes and ladders. She sets the stakes that international finance has become stronger than states and has been deregularized. The Smithsonian Agreement has been weak leading further to benign neglect from the USA, the Eurodollar market and OPEC has been strong undermining the Bretton Woods system. There is no state or actor governing the international monetary system and the international financial markets. American banks are made free to pursue their interests since the 1980s strengthened by the possibility to finance American bonds in the world, making a carousel of bond trading with the OPEC and the Eurodollar market. The forces of market integration set by the Bretton Woods system was going through.
In 1942, she married Denis Merritt (died 1993); they had one son, and one daughter, and the marriage was dissolved in 1955. In 1955 she married Clifford Selly, with whom she had three sons, and one daughter.
- Sterling and British Policy: A Political Study of an International Currency in Decline (1971) ISBN 978-0192149855
- Casino Capitalism (1986) ISBN 0-7190-5235-1
- States and Markets (1988) ISBN 0-8264-7389-X
- Rival States, Rival Firms: Competition for World Market Shares with John M. Stopford and John S. Henley (1991) ISBN 0-521-42386-4
- The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy (1996) ISBN 0-521-56429-8
- Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments (1998) ISBN 0-472-06693-5
- Brown, Chris (July 1999). "Susan Strange: A Critical Appreciation". Review of International Studies. 25 (3): 531–535. doi:10.1017/s0260210599005318. JSTOR 20097617.
- Gautam Sen. "Obituary: Professor Susan Strange | Culture". The Independent. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- Halliday, Fred (24 September 2008). "The revenge of ideas: Karl Polanyi and Susan Strange". openDemocracy. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- William Coleman; Alina Sajed (26 June 2013). Fifty Key Thinkers on Globalization. p. 232. ISBN 9781136163944. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Presidents of ISA". Isanet.org. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- Macmillan., Palgrave (2015). Global politics. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137349262. OCLC 979008143.
- Strange, Susan, Casino Capitalism, Manchester University Press, 1986, pp.1-48
- Harry Bauer & Elisabetta Brighi (Eds) (2003) International Relations at LSE: A History of 75 Years, London: Millennium Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-9544397-0-5.
- Friman, H. Richard (August–October 2003). "Caught Up in the Madness? State Power and Transnational Organized Crime in the Work of Susan Strange". Alternatives. Culture & Conflicts. 28 (4): 473–489. doi:10.1177/030437540302800403. JSTOR 40645091.
- Palan, Ronen (Summer 1999). "Susan Strange 1923–1998: A Great International Relations Theorist". Review of International Political Economy. 6 (2): 121–132. doi:10.1080/096922999347254. JSTOR 4177305.
- Leander, Anna (February 2001). "Dependency Today: Finance, Firms, Mafias and the State: A Review of Susan Strange's Work from a Developing Country Perspective". Third World Quarterly. 22 (1): 115–128. doi:10.1080/713701141. JSTOR 3993349.
- Critical Biography