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