Ivan Manokha, Mona Chalabi

The latest financial crisis has put the state and the international system to the test. In this context one would expect an explosion in literature from the discipline that claims academic monopoly over the international sphere: International Relations. However, as our research shows, surprisingly few IR scholars have made any attempt to analyse the crisis. This article seeks to explain this paucity of engagement, and the failings of those few works that did attempt to engage with the crisis, by exposing the limits of the discipline's orthodoxy. It argues that the discipline of IR has been predominantly concerned with the analysis of political interactions of sovereign states, their external behaviour towards each other in an anarchic international system, with each of these territorial units seen as pursuing their national interests, usually vaguely defined in terms of power or resources. With such privileging of the political over the economic, of the external over the domestic, of state actors over non-state actors, and of the study of conflict over the analysis of other types of interactions, the discipline of IR has inherently and structurally been unable to engage with, and render intelligible, the latest financial crisis and its consequences. The article then sketches out an alternative approach which seeks to overcome the dichotomies that characterize the orthodoxy and provides a more holistic explanation of the crisis.

Javier Santiso

Ethically correct policies sometimes, even often, skeptics will say, simply reflect a good grasp of where one's interests lie. The creation of an ethical fund or involvement in a micro-finance program may only be a way of pandering to the times or improving one's self-esteem in a convoluted fashion. However, these tributes to virtue nevertheless raise a number of contemporary questions and issues. The sums invested in ethical funds are far from merely symbolic. In the United States, one out of every ten dollars is invested in "ethical" financial instruments. In Europe, they are developing quickly. As for micro-loan experiments, from Bangladesh to Bolivia, the profitable results they have yielded to all parties are proof that they warrant taking an interest in them. As the present research emphasizes, the use of ethical funds and micro-loans, although it may not bridge the gap between past and future, nevertheless shows promise for the years to come: it provides a temporal horizon that the commonly-called international civil society takes part in shaping