Marxist political economy looked more like critics on classical political economy proposed by liberalists, yet it didn't give any definite solution to the problem of political regulation of economics. Socialist theories of political economics which were derived from Marxist concept failed to effectively function on the territory of the certain state, and the economical situation in such countries as ex-USSR, Cuba, Vietnam and North Korea prove it perfectly.
Now it would be difficult to find the country were the concepts of political economy mentioned above would be clearly realized in daily practices. The processes of globalization, goods exchange, industrialization and development of social infrastructure within one country and within the world economic community in general, had proved that only integral model of economical development has the right to be applied in our realities. From this point different factors have to be taken into consideration and they are not limited only to industrial or economical factors, but include geographical position of the country, its place in the system of world trade, national and political particularities, industrial or agricultural specialization of the production within the country, etc. Today most of countries of the industrialized world accept reasonable policy of economical regulation, protection of native business, guarantee social protection to the workers and stand for establishment of fixated prices on the products of universal consumption (oil, gas, gold, crops, metals, etc.). On the hand with free competition and trade these concepts, which originate from the views of mercantilists (state intervention in economics), liberalists (universality and freedom of goods exchange) and Marxists (social guarantees and privileges to workers) coexist together and may be applied for any dynamically developing economy.
In order to understand main economical concepts, Pettman had used a very specific and organized structure of material, which combines the theory with practice on the set of examples from past and present as well as modern situation in the world of global trade and interaction of different economical systems. The use of contemporary issues in the world of trade and state control over economics helps a lot to understand the core of every economical concept, it's advantageous and weak points. Besides, such manner of interpretation helps to develop analytical and critical thinking over the problems of international economics and tools for it regulation. Because there exists no optimal IPE theory that will satisfy modern tendencies in the sphere of marketing and trade, Pettman's illustrations help in forming individual vision of this problem and analysis for the search of better solution.
Illustrations of mercantilist concept of political economy were the most powerful, as it showed the bankruptcy of the mercantilism in a country, which has tight economical bounds with the rest of the world. Under the slogans for protection of native business, there is hidden tendency for established of the close economics and isolation from the rest of developing world, which results in economical and technological decline. An example of such undesirable changes in economics is Frederic Bastiat's "Petition of the Manufacturers of Candles, Wax- lights, Lamps, Candlesticks, Street Lamps, Sniffers, Extinguishers, and of the Producers of Oil, Tallow, Resin, Alcohol, and generally, of Everything connected with Lighting" (1909). The author wants to persuade Members of the Chambers of Deputies to ban all forms of light.
Even though that the author succeed in describing three main concepts of political economy, by explaining their application on different life examples, the whole meaning of the work lacks explanation of the modern events. The work was written in 1996 and is nearly 9 years old. And there much had been changed during this period in order to fully rely on its materials as on the primary source of understanding IPE. Pettman nearly tells nothing about the problems of globalization and reorganization of world economical system caused by such tendency. As the most recent concern of international political economy is looking for the most optimal regulation of economics under the conditions of globalization, Pettman had to mention his ideas about European Union, and changes experienced by EU-members. Moreover, the reading would be more fruitful if there was more information included about the countries with transitional economics (China, and former socialist states) and the ways their governments achieved to reorganized economics and take it from deep crisis. But in general the book is excellent in giving a good theoretical background and "literacy" about main concepts of IPE.
Pettman, Ralph Understanding International Political…