The nations of the European Union (EU) are taking a major step toward greater economic and political integration by creating a monetary union to be administered by a European central bank that is formally independent of political control. There is broad consensus among the governing elites of Europe, informed by an extensive literature in economics, that the independence of the new central bank will confer important economic advantages on the new European Monetary Union (EMU) as one unintentional publication concluded, ''The argument for central bank independence. . . appears overwhelming.''
The 'new institutionalism' is a term that now appears with growing frequency in political science. However, there is considerable confusion about just what the 'new institutionalism' is, how it differs from other approaches, and what sort of promise or problems it displays. The object of this essay is to provide some preliminary answers to these questions by reviewing recent work in a burgeoning literature.
John Maynard Keynes once observed that the ""ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood."" The contributors to this volume take that assertion seriously. In a full-scale study of the impact of Keynesian doctrines across nations, their essays trace the reception accorded Keynesian ideas, initially during the 1930s and then in the years after World War II, in a wide range of nations, including Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Scandinavia. The contributors review the latest historical evidence to explain why some nations embraced Keynesian policies while others did not. At a time of growing interest in comparative public policy-making, they examine the central issue of how and why particular ideas acquire influence over policy and politics. Based on three years of collaborative research for the Social Science Research Council, the volume takes up central themes in contemporary economics, political science, and history. The contributors are Christopher S. Allen, Marcello de Cecco, Peter Alexis Gourevitch, Eleanor M. Hadley, Peter A. Hall, Albert O. Hirschman, Harold James, Bradford A. Lee, Jukka Pekkarinen, Pierre Rosanvallon, Walter S. Salant, Margaret Weir, and Donald Winch.
One of Britain's more aristocratic Prime Ministers once said: 'There are two problems in my life. The political ones are insolubleand the economic one...more One of Britain's more aristocratic Prime Ministers once said: 'There are two problems in my life. The political ones are insoluble and the economic ones are incomprehensible.' Many of his successors might agree; but the two sorts of problems are not always as separable as we imagine. This is a book about the political dimensions of economic management. It attempts to explain the direction that economic policy took in Britain and France over the post-war period; and one of its central contentions is that economic policy-making must be understood as an essentially political process