Tickner’s article discusses the various political practices adopted by states in order to promote their economic security. The author’s central idea is that, “the liberal, the economic nationalist, and the Marxist approaches to international political economy are biased towards masculine representations” (Tickner 90). The piece is written in Tickner’s usual style: conventional and educational, but not overly accessible to a wide audience.
A particularly interesting point of Tickner’s is that concerning the term “positive peace,” coined in the early 1970s. Speaking of the developing world, Tickner says: “The legitimacy of states that failed to meet the basic material needs of their citizens began to be questioned” (Tickner 69). It seems that some governments were putting funds into military security, to the detriment of their peoples’ access to food and other basic needs. “Positive peace,” or peace that included economic as well as conflict safety, is not something that is often spoken about now, but in the 70s it was a current issue. It certainly seems to be true that women suffer at the hands of poverty more than men, largely because of the political set up in some countries.
Generally speaking, “Three Voices of Man” is well-written and interesting. Tickner covers the subject broadly, informing the reader of gendered perspectives of economic security around the world. As with many of Tickner’s pieces, this one is informative but somewhat formally written. The writing style leaves little room for personality and while this isn’t the point of such articles, the academic style may serve to alienate readers with a lower level of education than Tickner.
Gilpin: “Three Ideologies of Political Economy”
In this piece, Robert Gilpin discusses how, over the past one hundred and fifty years, “the ideologies of liberalism, nationalism, and Marxism, have divided humanity” (25). He evaluates the three ideologies within the context of political economy. This piece is interesting and successfully sheds light on the three ideologies, not only commenting on their historical contexts but also on how they are still relevant today. While his writing style will not suit everyone, Gilpin manages to both engage and inform his readers.
Perhaps one of Gilpin’s most memorable points is that the conflict between the three ideologies is one that still exists today. As he points out, “they define the conflicting perspectives that individuals have with regard to the implications of the market system for domestic and international society” (25). He also goes on to say that many issues which were controversial in the last two centuries are once again being discussed in the modern day. This fact implies that while the relationship between politics and economics can be studied and commented upon, certain parts of the globe are unlikely to change in this respect any time soon.
Gilpin’s piece, like Tickner’s is informative and interesting. For the eyes of scholars of students, the content and the style are both entirely appropriate. However, he relies on his reader having substantial existing knowledge about politics and economics prior to studying his text. While, in this context, this is suitable, it is arguable that lesser educated individuals would struggle to fully grasp his points. This is worth pointing out as information should be available to anyone interested in the subject rather than an elite group who has already studied it in depth.