Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods

Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods

International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order

Eric Helleiner's new book provides a powerful corrective to conventional accounts of the negotiations at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944. These negotiations resulted in the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank—the key international financial institutions of the postwar global economic order. Critics of Bretton Woods have argued that its architects devoted little attention to international development issues or the concerns of poorer countries. On the basis of extensive historical research and access to new archival sources, Helleiner challenges these assumptions, providing a major reinterpretation that will interest all those concerned with the politics and history of the global economy, North-South relations, and international development.

The Bretton Woods architects—who included many officials and analysts from poorer regions of the world—discussed innovative proposals that anticipated more contemporary debates about how to reconcile the existing liberal global economic order with the development aspirations of emerging powers such as India, China, and Brazil. Alongside the much-studied Anglo-American relationship was an overlooked but pioneering North-South dialogue. Helleiner's unconventional history brings to light not only these forgotten foundations of the Bretton Woods system but also their subsequent neglect after World War II.

Eric Helleiner

Eric Helleiner is Professor and Faculty of Arts Chair in International Political Economy, Department of Political Science and Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo. He is the author of Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order, States and the Reemergence of Global Finance: From Bretton Woods to the 1990s, and The Making of National Money: Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective and coeditor of The Great Wall of Money: Power and Politics in China's International Monetary Relations, all from Cornell.



The Making of National Money
Territorial Currencies in Historical Perspective
Eric Helleiner
Why should each country have its own exclusive currency? Eric Helleiner offers a fascinating and unique perspective on this question in his accessible history of the origins of national money. Our contemporary understandings of national currency...



States and the Reemergence of Global Finance
From Bretton Woods to the 1990s
Eric Helleiner
Drawing on extensive historical research, Eric Helleiner provides the first comprehensive political history of the phenomenon, one that details and explains the central role played by states in permitting and encouraging financial globalization.





Contributions:

The Great Wall of Money
Power and Politics in China's International Monetary Relations
By illuminating the politics of China's international monetary relations, this book provides a timely account of the global economy, the role of the renminbi in international relations, and the trajectory of China’s continuing ascendency in the coming decades.



The Future of the Dollar
For half a century, the United States has garnered substantial political and economic benefits as a result of the dollar's de facto role as a global currency. In recent years, however, the dollar's preponderant position in world markets has come under...



Economic Nationalism in a Globalizing World
This book demonstrates the enduring, and even heightened, economic significance of national identities and nationalism in the current age.