The Bretton Woods rescue

Helen Thompson

in Might, Right, Prosperity and Consent

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2008 | ISBN: 9780719077500
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701607 | DOI:
The Bretton Woods rescue

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This chapter introduces Japan, and also takes up India and Indonesia, where the problems of securing consent to the authority of the state and democratic constitutional rules were potentially immense. Forty-four allied states met at Bretton Woods to discuss post-war monetary and exchange-rate matters, reaching an agreement that contained three central provisions. The inter-war experience in Europe had suggested that the internal authority of modern states did depend on governments. The West German economy had become the locomotive of west European growth. The internal authority of the French state and French democracy proved far less pliable to American power than the British. Indian democracy succeeded without American support, while Indonesian democracy owed its existence to American power. Where the state's internal authority was weak, low inflation proved politically impossible and democracy tended to fail.

Keywords: Japan; India; Indonesia; Bretton Woods; German economy; French democracy; French state; American power; Indian democracy; Indonesian democracy

Chapter.  29896 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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