The international object in the economic theory

This essay tries to analyse the illegitimate status of the international object in standard pure economics. It shows that the difficulty to think the international object is related to the foundations of standard economics, as it was elaborated during the last two centuries. From this starting point, the essay tries to interpret the « new international economics » which appeared in the last fifteen years. These works contribute to show, partly unintentionally, that by becoming more realistic the economic theory loses its determinism. In contrast, the importance of economic, social and political structures and institutions is stressed, and the necessity to interface the lessons of economics with the lessons of other disciplines in the analysis of international relations is established. In the field of interpretation, the article argues in favour of a « international political economy » conceived as a pragmatics (that is to say a pragmatic structured by theory). It tries to illustrate how this « pluri-disciplinary » program would be developed. –Summary AFRI-2003