Realigning Interests: Crisis and Credibility in European Monetary Integration

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Why do currency crises happen? What conditions set the stage for such a crisis? How severe will it be? When will it happen? This book answers these questions, illustrating the points by examining the exchange rate realignments of the European Monetary System. It also shows how balancing the tension between domestic and international politics plays a vital part in a government's willingness to uphold its exchange rate commitments. The book pays particular attention to the role of domestic elections, since these ...

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2004 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 224 p. Contains: Illustrations. Europe in Transition: The NYU European Studies. Audience: General/trade. ... Book is Brand New! (H/W1B) Read more Show Less

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Overview

Why do currency crises happen? What conditions set the stage for such a crisis? How severe will it be? When will it happen? This book answers these questions, illustrating the points by examining the exchange rate realignments of the European Monetary System. It also shows how balancing the tension between domestic and international politics plays a vital part in a government's willingness to uphold its exchange rate commitments. The book pays particular attention to the role of domestic elections, since these may prevent governments from credibly committing to a fixed exchange rate and from responding quickly and coherently to market instability, thus encouraging speculation.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This short book, an outgrowth of a dissertation, focuses on the political dimension of the European Monetary System (EMS). Introduced by eight countries in 1979, the EMS terminated in 1999 with the introduction of the euro, although a variant has been revived for Denmark, Sweden, and the ten new EU member states. Special attention is paid to the exchange-rate commitments, the domestic factors that influenced exchange-rate realignments between 1979 and 1987, and the financial crisis and breakdown of the EMS in 1992. Italy, Germany, and especially France get the heaviest treatment. Europeans sought exchange-rate credibility by joining a formal international agreement (first the EMS, then the Maastricht Treaty). Given the support for pan-European cooperation by many parties across the political spectrum (excluding the communists in France and Italy), traditional left-right partisan politics played less role in exchange-rate policy than might have been thought. But political disagreements on the wisdom of Maastricht, especially after the negative Danish referendum cast doubt on its viability, played a big role, as did macroeconomic policy dilemmas within the largest countries, France and Germany.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michele Chang teaches political science at Colgate University and is a fellow at Cornell University's Institute for European Studies. She has received fellowships from the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst. She has previously published in the Journal of Public Policy as well as with Cornell University Press.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
The European Monetary System
Political Economy of Currency Crisis and Devaluation
France, 1981-1986
France, 1988-1995
Italy: Domestic versus International Origins of Currency Crises
Ireland
Conclusion
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