Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


Describing the very dynamic global trade of the second half of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century has become a standard part of the repertoire of economic historians. I like to think in terms of globalisation cycles, with long periods of increased interchange of goods and flows of people, capital and ideas. But then something happens, and globalisation is interrupted. Many people feel that there has been too much interaction, and they draw back from the global setting and look instead for protected areas in which they can be safe from global threat and global devastation. Politics looks for national rather than international solutions to pressing problems and concerns, and international cooperation becomes tense and difficult, if not impossible. At each stage in the globalisation cycle, we tend to extrapolate and to think that this particular phase will last forever: whether it is the confident upswing or the stagnation and anger of the downward movement of the cycle. The breakdown of globalisation has often been studied, and it is usually seen as a consequence of the interplay of policy responses that seek to limit the extent of international connectedness. By contrast, many people think of the integration or upswing phases as happening automatically, as a result simply of the unplanned magic of myriad market interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Foundations of Worldwide Economic Integration
Subtitle of host publicationPower, Institutions, and Global Markets, 1850-1930
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9781139343220
ISBN (Print)9781107030152
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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