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Keynes and the Complexity of International Economic Relations in the Aftermath of World War I

  • Anna M. Carabelli
  • Mario A. Cedrini

In the attempt to deepen the understanding of Keynes' thought as an international macroeconomist, we explore the hypothesis of consistency between his general methodological approach to the economic material and his way of reasoning about international economic relations. As a first step toward this direction, we investigate the methodology of >i>The Economic Consequences of the Peace>/i> and find that it reflects Keynes' attempt to cope with the attributes of the complexity characterizing the European settlement for the post-war period, e.g., 1) organic interdependence among variables at play, 2) irreducible dilemmas and situations of conflict, as well as 3) the need for external, public assistance to overcome the impasse and promote a "shared responsibilities" approach to the imbalances. Striking similarities appearing with the method of Keynes' economic diplomacy in the 1940s are shown to substantiate the current rediscovery of his plans for Bretton Woods.

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Article provided by M.E. Sharpe, Inc. in its journal Journal of Economic Issues.

Volume (Year): 44 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 1009-1028

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Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:44:y:2010:i:4:p:1009-1028
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  1. J. B. Davis, 1990. "Keynes and Organicism," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 12(2), pages 308-315, January.
  2. Anna Carabelli, 1998. "Keynes on Probability, Uncertainty and Tragic Choices," Cahiers d'Économie Politique, Programme National Persée, vol. 30(1), pages 187-226.
  3. Mario Cedrini, 2008. "Consensus versus freedom or consensus upon freedom? from Washington disorder to the rediscovery of Keynes," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 30(4), pages 499-522, July.
  4. Markwell, Donald, 2006. "John Maynard Keynes and International Relations: Economic Paths to War and Peace," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292364, March.
  5. Anna Maria Carabelli & Mario Aldo Cedrini, 2007. "Current Global Imbalances: Might Keynes Be of Help?," Working Papers 113, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  6. Marchionatti Roberto, 2002. "Dealing with complexity Marshall and Keynes on the nature of economic thinking," CESMEP Working Papers 200201, University of Turin.
  7. de Cecco, Marcello, 1979. "Origins of the Post-War Payments System," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 49-61, March.
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