Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Kees van der Pijl
IPE as a field in the academic International Relations discipline was born at a time when the breakdown of Bretton Woods and the growth of economic nationalism in the third world appeared to signal not only the downfall of the dollar but also the erosion of US hegemony. It indeed took a whole decade to realign the balance of class forces both domestically and internationally so as to exit the crisis of the 1970s in a way that, in contrast to the 1930s, accelerated the globalizing dynamic of capitalism, and did so, moreover, under continuing US leadership. This occurred as the process of market liberalization to promote greater economic competition was beginning to be registered, aided by the US Treasury’s efforts in particular (including the creation of the G7 as ‘a vehicle for providing support and endorsement for US-generated initiatives and ideas’) to sustain and develop a common purpose and solidarity along these lines (Baker 2006: 11, 26). And this would soon be followed by the Treasury’s no less successful efforts in turning back the challenge of third world economic nationalism.
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