TheOxford Handbooks of Political Science is a ten-volume set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of political science. Each volume focuses on a particular part of the discipline, with volumes on Public Policy, Political Theory, Political Economy, Contextual Political Analysis, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Law and Politics, Political Behavior, Political Institutions, and Political Methodology. The project as a whole is under the General Editorship of Robert E. Goodin, with each volume being edited by a distinguished international group of specialists in their respective fields. The books set out not just to report on the discipline, but to shape it. The series will be an indispensable point of reference for anyone working in political science and adjacent disciplines.Over its long lifetime, "political economy" has had many different meanings: the science of managing the resources of a nation so as to provide wealth to its inhabitants for Adam Smith; the study of how the ownership of the means of production influenced historical processes for Marx; the study of the inter-relationship between economics and politics for some twentieth-century commentators; and for others, a methodology emphasizing individual rationality (the economic or "public choice" approach) or institutional adaptation (the sociological version).
This Handbook views political economy as a grand (if imperfect) synthesis of these various strands, treating political economy as the methodology of economics applied to the analysis of political behavior and institutions. This Handbook surveys the field of political economy, with 58 chapters ranging from micro to macro, national to international, institutional to behavioral, methodological to substantive.Chapters on social choice, constitutional theory, and public economics are set alongside ones on voters, parties and pressure groups, macroeconomics and politics, capitalism and democracy, and international political economy and international conflict.