Tawney Lecture 2015: Contesting Reconstruction: Remaking the Global Economic Order

Authors/Speakers/Subjects: Martin Daunton

Published Date: 13 May 2015

Duration: 1 hour, 5 minutes, 48 seconds


In this year’s Tawney lecture, Martin Daunton considers the conflicting and contested notions of the reconstruction of the world economy after the Second World War.  He shows how the debates at Bretton Woods should be placed in a much wider context than monetary policy, and the disagreements between Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, for the American policies were concerned with the development of Latin America and the application of New Deal principles.  He also shows how the monetary debates were complemented by other themes, above all full employment, the utilisation of the resources of the world, and nutrition through the conferences of the International Labour Organisation at Philadelphia and on food at Hot Springs.  The debates continued after the war at the conferences to establish an International Trade Organisation, at Geneva and Havana, which entailed contested ideas of the shape of the world economy by the advanced industrial countries, Australia, India and Latin American.  The proposals reflected different relations between domestic and international politics in each country; and the outcome reflected the ability to balance these competing imperatives, the success in building coalitions around ideas or interests, and the design of the international institutions.

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