Orderly Change: International Monetary Relations since Bretton Woods

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The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 resulted in the formation of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and helped lay the foundation for an unprecedented expansion of international commerce. Yet six decades later, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the central characteristics of the Bretton Woods system remain disputed—and the subject of continuing public policy debate.

Relying on extensive access to IMF, World Bank, and other archives, the contributors to ...

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Overview

The Bretton Woods Conference of 1944 resulted in the formation of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and helped lay the foundation for an unprecedented expansion of international commerce. Yet six decades later, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the central characteristics of the Bretton Woods system remain disputed—and the subject of continuing public policy debate.

Relying on extensive access to IMF, World Bank, and other archives, the contributors to Orderly Change show that the history of international monetary relations since Bretton Woods is one of "orderly change"—that is, change within a sturdy but supple framework. Even during the years of fixed exchange rates, very different practices characterized international monetary relations immediately after World War II, during the 1950s, and during the 1960s. Later, when the fixed exchange-rate system collapsed, underlying commitments to trade liberalization in the context of continuing national economic policy autonomy survived and even flourished. However, the resulting international economic order is now in grave danger: the tension between states' autonomy and their mutual openness has become acute, as international monetary structures no longer appear capable of mediating between these objectives. David M. Andrews and the contributors to Orderly Change examine past transitions as a means of suggesting possible avenues for current and future policymaking.

Contributors: David M. Andrews, Scripps College; Jeffrey M. Chwieroth, London School of Economics; Lucia Coppolaro, Universitat Pompeu Fabrae; E. Richard Gold, McGill University; Eric Helleiner, University of Waterloo; Louis W. Pauly, University of Toronto; Wesley W. Widmaier, St. Joseph's University; Anastasia Xenias, Hunter College, City University of New York; Hubert Zimmermann, Cornell University

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is an excellent book. The disciplines of economics and political science are based on stylized facts about the Bretton Woods system (and order), and those stylizations have, over time, hardened into cliché. That cliché, it turns out, is missing all manner of subtlety and categorization. Orderly Change includes many untold or underappreciated stories of the system and the order that remains."—Rawi Abdelal, Harvard Business School, author of National Purpose in the World Economy

"As scholars debate the merits and durability of the so-called 'revived Bretton Woods' regime of the present decade, it behooves us to reexamine the original Bretton Woods system. This team of scholars provides a useful, fine-grained analysis of the historical stages of the postwar monetary regime and argues that the crisis-induced transformations decried by some authors instead represented norm-governed, orderly change. They also ask how long we can expect this process of orderly change to endure. Anyone interested in these questions must read this book."—C. Randall Henning, American University and Peterson Institute for International Economics

"Orderly Change is a very significant contribution to current scholarship on international monetary politics. It brings together the contributions of new and established scholars and forges several broad theses about the past evolution, present dilemmas, and future trajectory of the international monetary regime. In addition to its presentation of new historical material on an earlier era, the book is timely, as it sheds light on the future prospects of the Bretton Woods institutions, and the international monetary order more generally, at a time when there is considerable debate about the legitimacy of those institutions and anxiety about the future sustainability of current global imbalances."—Jacqueline Best, University of Ottawa

"Orderly Change belongs on the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in the political economy of global money and finance. In the best tradition of forward-looking history, David M. Andrews and company reflect incisively on the evolution of the Bretton Woods system and what the past portends for international monetary relations in the future. The collection is chock-full of new understandings and challenging insights."—Benjamin J. Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Orderly Change presents a valuable analysis of the evolution of the Bretton Woods international monetary system. Many elements of the Bretton Woods order remain in place and this volume provides important insights for the analysis of policy options within the context of the current huge global imbalances. While some optimists see us in the early stages of a prosperous Bretton Woods II, there are also distressing similarities to the conditions that led to the breakdown of the original Bretton Woods regime."—Thomas D. Willett, Horton Professor of Economics, The Claremont Colleges

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801473999
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 4/17/2008
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David M. Andrews is Professor of Politics and International Relations and Director of the European Union Center of California at Scripps College. He is coeditor of Governing the World's Money, also from Cornell, and editor of The Atlantic Alliance under Stress: US-European Relations after Iraq.

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Table of Contents


List of Contributors     ix
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     1
Bretton Woods: System and Order   David M. Andrews     6
Trade and Money in the Roosevelt Administration: Toward the Bretton Woods Agreement, 1933-1944   David M. Andrews     25
Wartime Financial Diplomacy and the Transition to the Treasury System, 1939-1947   Anastasia Xenias     36
International Liquidity Provision: The IMF and the World Bank in the Treasury and Marshall Systems, 1942-1957   Jeffrey M. Chwieroth     52
Ambiguous Aspects of Bretton Woods: Canadian Exchange-Rate Policy in the Marshall System, 1950-1962   Eric Helleiner     78
Kennedy's Gold Pledge and the Return of Central Bank Collaboration: The Origins of the Kennedy System, 1959-1962   David M. Andrews     100
U.S. Payments Problems and the Kennedy Round of GATT Negotiations, 1961-1967   Lucia Coppolaro     120
Incomes Policies and the U.S. Commitment to Fixed Exchange Rates, 1953-1974   Wesley W. Widmaier     139
West German Monetary Policy and the Transition to Flexible Exchange Rates, 1969-1973   Hubert Zimmermann     155
Legal Foundations of the U.S. Dollar, 1933-1934 and 1971-1978   E. Richard Gold     177
The Institutional Legacy ofBretton Woods: IMF Surveillance, 1973-2007   Louis W. Pauly     189
Future Prospects of the Bretton Woods Order   David M. Andrews     211
Index     237
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