Fighting Through Britain. The “Gift Dimension” of Keynes's Quest for a New Global Order
AbstractDissatisfied with both Skidelsky's “Fighting for Britain” approach to Keynes's quest for a new global order and its specular competitor, the “Figthing despite Britain” view, we explore the possibility of a “Fighting through Britain” approach to the issue. We claim that though Keynes was fighting for the whole world rather than for Britain only, his (unsuccessful) fighting for Britain was a major component of his overall reform project and the true telltale sign of his defeat. As a consequence, the paper focuses in particular on the American Gift asked for by Keynes in 1945. The Gift is regarded as the last and a relevant episode of the economist's lifelong search for a global system efficiently coping with the dilemmas it necessarily gives life to. With the help of the anthropological and sociological literature on gift-giving, we move beyond the strategic dimension of Keynes's diplomacy to show that the request for an American Gift to revive multilateralism at the end of WWII embodies in full - and helps to understand - Keynes's attempt to construct a new system happily combining international discipline and national freedom to choose, the former being the instrument to promote the latter.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont in its series Working Papers with number 119.
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Keynes; International economic relations; Gift-giving;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
- F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order; Noneconomic International Organizations;; Economic Integration and Globalization: General
- F5 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-HPE-2008-09-29 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2008-09-29 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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