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Supplement to States and Markets: An investigation of the concept of 'knowledge structure' in the work of Susan Strange.

Revell, Piers (2006) Supplement to States and Markets: An investigation of the concept of 'knowledge structure' in the work of Susan Strange. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In States and Markets, Susan Strange identified a source of structural power called the knowledge structure. This thesis sets out to do two things. First it tries to work out the logical consequences of the notion that knowledge is a source of structural power. Second, it tries to test Strange's model for its explanatory power, by using it to construct historical narrative on the development of tekhne, sophia, and nous in antiquity. On the question of the logical consequences for international political theory of the notion of 'knowledge as power', I argue that it radically undermines many of Strange's own assumptions about the nature of science, technology and ideology. The reason for this is that her assumptions derive from a discourse which has traditionally legitimised itself by excluding power from talk about its constitution. When Strange supplements the notion of knowledge-as-truth with the notion of knowledge-as-power, she obliges us to reconsider the Socratic question of knowledge-as-virtue, because we are confronted with our own agency. That is why I have chosen the ancient world for a case study to test the explanatory power of Strange's multi-faceted model of the global political economy. By putting her model to work as a means to assimilate the wealth of archaeological and philological scholarship in this field, its heuristic value is demonstrated. It traces the first structuration of knowledge back to primary and secondary state formation in the Near East. Then it analyses the Iliad and the Odyssey as orally preserved norms for managing the values of security, wealth, freedom and justice in the wake of the collapse of bronze-age civilisation in the Mediterranean. It then accounts for the discovery of secular consciousness as the result of a novel interface between the oral and the written. The narrative culminates with the mediation of a communal crisis over the values of security, wealth, freedom and justice by Solon, which initiated the transformation of Prometheus from the crafty trickster depicted by Hesiod into the democratic revolutionary characterised by Aeschylus. The thesis concludes with a theory of contribution based upon four points of consensus identified within the literature of International Political Economy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, History, Ancient
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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