The Selected Essays of John H. Dunning, Volume II
Chapter 4: Globalization, Economic Restructuring and Development
* INTRODUCTION On 9 November 1989, just over 75 years after the outbreak of the First World War, the cold war ended. Both events were primarily political landmarks, but each symbolized a turning point in modern economic history. The first marked the end of a period of path-breaking technological advances and unparalleled economic growth. The second signalled not only the full renaissance of the democratic market system, but the beginning of a journey towards a new global economic order, the like of which our grandparents could scarcely have envisaged. But for most of the present century, the world has been on an economic ‘roller coaster’. The 1920s and 1930s were a period of fragile peace and economic instability, and a time when most nations sacrificed the benefits of cross-border trade and commerce for narrow and elusive national interests. The post-Second World War years started promisingly enough. Pax Americana and the international trading and monetary regimes, crafted at Bretton Woods, provided the institutional framework for a period of sustained growth, particularly for developed countries.1 But the prosperity was shortlived. The 1970s saw the end of US hegemony, and the re-emergence of floating exchange rates. They also witnessed a determination, by many newly selfgoverning developing countries, to shed the yoke of economic imperialism. In spite of valiant efforts by the United Nations to establish a new international economic order, both the income and ideological gaps between the rich and poor nations widened. Yet, however understandable, the quest for economic autonomy was already beginning...
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