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The book examines the history and theoretical development of Political Economy, one of the most important scholarly disciplines to emerge from the European Enlightenment, and the subject which provided the basis for the later disciplines of Economics, Business Studies and International Political Economy and all forms of analysis which incorporate the study of overlapping economic and political relationships within and between states and civil societies.The arrangement of the book is linear and historical, tracing the discipline from its earliest manifestations when 'Political Economy' carried much of the meaning of modern Economics (the study of wealth creation via rational actions in the free market place) though to its modern meaning of the economic and political interactions of state and civil society and how 'classes', and/or 'interests' compete to realise contested economic policies. The underlying approach is analytical, tracing through the various methodological and philosophical elements which tie together and separate the changing faces of Political Economy over the past 350 years, covering the recurring contested themes of the subject including: 'states and markets'; 'power theories'; models of capitalism; models of development and internationalisation/ globalization.Crucially, the central significance of the discipline of Political Economy, with its allied historically based method, has been underlined in the wake of the recent global financial meltdown, which has reemphasised its analytical relevance in today's globalised world, given the manifest failings of recent mathematical economics and business modelling in analysing the inherent potential for global market failure.