Marc Flandreau, Harold James

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


The long-run history of the international financial system in the course of the twentieth century can be described in terms of the current debate about globalization and its limits. At the beginning of the new century, there existed a substantially integrated world economy, tied together through more or less unconstrained flows of capital, goods, and labor. During the next decades that “one world” economy disintegrated, in part as a response to World War I, in part as a result of growing political expectations about how the state might limit the shocks emanating from the global economy. The years after 1945 saw the creation of an institutional infrastructure - in particular the Bretton Woods institutions - that altered the calculations about appropriate state policy and permitted the recreation of a world in which trade expanded more quickly than production, capital flows increased (especially after the 1970s), and labor also began to move. The course of the twentieth century can be described from this perspective as a U-shape. First integration collapsed, and then the pendulum swung back.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Financial History in the Twentieth Century System and Anarchy
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781139052375
ISBN (Print)9780521819954
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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