It is hard to make sense of a newspaper, a business investment, or a government policy without an understanding of the theories, institutions, and relationships found in International Political Economy (IPE). It is difficult, in other words, to understand our everyday lives without some understanding of IPE, so deeply are we now touched by international relations and global events. We believe that IPE is so important that all college students need to understand it in a fundamental way. Our conviction is that it is possible to present this material in relatively simple ways that retain the complexity of the global issues and intellectual problems we address, but without making the discussion fit only for graduate students. Our aim is to provide educational materials that will allow "beginners" (college freshmen and sophomores) to go from zero to 60 in IPE in a single semester. Our hope is that these students will get excited about IPE as an element of lifelong learning and become better citizens and more knowledgeable individuals in the process. OUTLINE OF THE BOOK The book begins with five chapters designed to set out some basic tools for studying IPE. Chapter 1 introduces the fundamental elements of IPE. We begin with relatively simple tools and ideas, then add layers and detail to make IPE real. Chapter 2, 3, and 4 explore three ways of looking at IPE that have been powerful forces in history and remain influential in today's world: mercantilism, liberalism, and Marxism or structuralism. Chapter 5 introduces four theories (rational choice, green, feminist, and postmodern) that challenge our understanding of some IPE questions and events. We apologize in advance to experts in these fields for concise discussion and invite their suggestions for future presentation of these ideas. The second section of the text examines the web of relationships or structures that tie nations and their citizens together. As a student sitting at your desk, you are linked to people and places around the world in a number of ways that you need to understand if you are to make good personal, business, and social choices. Chapter 6 looks at production and international trade. Chapter 7 provides a "beginner's guide" to international finance that is put to use in Chapter 8 to analyze recent global financial events. Chapters 9 and 10 examine the security structure, and the ties created by knowledge and technology. At the end of the first ten chapters, then, you should be able to imagine yourself as part of the international political economy and see how you are linked to markets, states, and other actors around the globe. You should have a fundamental understanding of what these linkages are, and an appreciation of the theories and perspectives that guide our understanding of them. The second half of the book looks at specific topics and problems in IPE that are essential to a sound understanding of the world today. Chapters 11 to 14 focus on events that are usually associated with the industrial nations of the North. We examine the European Union, the controversy over NAFTA, the IPE of Japan, and the problems of formerly communist countries making the transition to another form of political economy. Problems and issues generally associated with the less developed countries of the South are discussed in Chapters 15 to 18. These chapters look at the dilemma of Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs); the ways in which human connections affect IPE through immigration, tourism, and human networks; the nature of the transnational corporation; and the IPE of OPEC and oil. The last three chapters examine global food and environmental problems using many of the same analytical tools developed earlier in the book. The very last chapter asks, "Where do we go from here?" After reviewing basic concepts and examining the fundamental tensions that shape today's world, we consider scenarBalaam, David N. is the author of 'Introduction to International Political Economy', published 2004 under ISBN 9780131895096 and ISBN 0131895095.