Integrating an International Political Economy Dimension into European Integration History: the Challenges of the 1970s

Capture d’écran 2013-10-29 à 16.30.50For anyone interested in international political economy (IPE), the fact that European integration is embedded in global influences is, arguably, a given. Economic and monetary phenomena do not really know borders – or at least not in the same way as other fields of foreign policy and cooperation do. As a consequence, taking into account the global context in the study of European developments largely goes without saying. Talking of European monetary cooperation without mentioning the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system, explaining various European monetary policies without mentioning the influence of Milton Friedman and the Chicago school, or the US administration’s “neglect” of the dollar in the late 1970s, would be fairly pointless. To put it the other way around: had the US been more amenable to aligning its economic and monetary policy with the German one, the European Monetary System (EMS) would probably not have been created. Keeping this in mind, this article will briefly set out the state of the field, outline some of the problems/methodological challenges to historical research on the 1970s and finally sketch some potential research directions.

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Published in: Journal of European Integration History, Volume 17, No. 2, 2011, pp. 335-341