was a British academic who was influential in the field of International Political Economy
International political economy , also known as global political economy, is an academic discipline within the social sciences that analyzes international relations in combination with political economy. As an interdisciplinary field it draws on many distinct academic schools, most notably ...
. Her most important publications include Casino Capitalism
, Mad Money
, States and Markets
and The Retreat of the State : The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy
For a quarter of a century, Susan Strange was the most influential figure in British international studies. She held a number of key academic posts in Britain, Italy and Japan. From 1978 to 1988, she was Montague Burton Professor of International Relations
The Montague Burton Professorship of International Relations at the University of Oxford is one of the two main professorships of International Relations created by the endowment of Montague Burton in UK universities. The Oxford chair was established in 1930 and is associated with a Fellowship of...
at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
The London School of Economics and Political Science is a public research university specialised in the social sciences located in London, United Kingdom, and a constituent college of the federal University of London...
, the first woman to hold this chair and a professorial position in international relations at the LSE. She was a major figure in the professional associations of both Britain and the US: she was an instrumental founding member and first Treasurer of the British International Studies Association
The British International Studies Association is a learned society that promotes the study of international relations and related subjects through teaching, research, and facilitation of contact between scholars. BISA has an international membership where 40 countries are represented. The current...
and the first female President of the International Studies Association
The International Studies Association was founded by a group of scholars and practitioners in 1959 to pursue mutual interests in international studies. Representing eighty countries, ISA has over three thousand members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in...
(ISA) in 1995. Between 1989 and 1994 she was Professor of International Political Economy at the European University Institute
The European University Institute ' in Florence is an international postgraduate and post-doctoral teaching and research institute established by European Union member states to contribute to cultural and scientific development in the social sciences, in a European perspective...
It was predominantly as a creative scholar and a forceful personality that she exercised her influence. She was almost single-handedly responsible for creating ‘international political economy’ and turning it into one of the two or three central fields within international studies in Britain, and she defended her creation with such robustness, and made such strong claims on its behalf, that her influence was felt—albeit not always welcomed—in most other areas of the discipline. She was one of the earliest and most influential campaigners for the closer integration of the study of international politics and international economics in the English language scholarship.
In the later period of her career, alongside the financial analyses offered in Casino Capitalism
(the analysis in which she felt was vindicated by the South-East Asian financial crisis) and Mad Money
, Strange's contributions to the field include her characterisation of the four different areas (production, security, finance and knowledge) through which power might be exercised in International Relations. This understanding of what she termed "structural power", formed the basis of her argument against the theory of American Hegemonic Decline in the early eighties.
Her analysis particularly in States and Markets
focused on what she called the ‘market-authority nexus’, the see-saw of power between the market and political authority. The overall argument of her work suggested that the global market had gained significant power relative to states since the 1970s. This led her to dub the Westphalia system Westfailure
Westfailure is a term coined in 1999 by the academic Susan Strange in a posthumous article titled The Westfailure System. The term is a portmanteau and is a pun on the Westphalia system the term for the system of nation states that has existed since the Treaty of Westphalia...
. She argued that a ‘dangerous gap’ was emerging between territorially-bound nation states and weak or partial intergovernmental cooperation in which markets had a free hand which could be constructive or destructive.
- Casino Capitalism (1997) ISBN 0719052351
- Mad Money: When Markets Outgrow Governments (1998) ISBN 0472066935
- States and Markets (1988) ISBN 082647389X
- Rival States, Rival Firms: Competition for World Market Shares with John M. Stopford and John S. Henley (1991) ISBN 0521423864
- The retreat of the State : The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy (1996)