The Global Economy: A Concise History traces the history of the global economy over the past thousand years. In doing so, it explores all the main waves of globalization, from the trade revolution of the Middle Ages, to the Great and Little Divergence between the West and the East, as well as the North and the South of the world.
This book examines the Industrial Revolution and the World Wars, and their respective consequences, as well as the interaction between technological shifts and the transition in geopolitical equilibria. The last chapters are dedicated to an in-depth examination of the transformation which occurred in the global economy after 1989. The chronological structure of the book is designed to help students memorize and understand key events. This book also discusses broader themes, such as convergence–divergence, growth and decline, development, and industrial revolutions.
This will make it of interest not only to students and academics, but to all readers wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the history and current state of the global economy.
1. The structural characteristics of preindustrial economies 2. The "Great Divergence" 3. New players, new institutions 4. The Industrial Revolution: technology and society 5. Why Europe? Why Britain? 6. An unstoppable process 7. A new world balance 8. The Western model and its limits 9. The first phase of globalization 10. The Great War: the end of a world 11. The post-war years: the age of insecurity 12. The crisis of capitalism 13. State intervention 14. The Second World War: "Creative Destruction" 15. Prosperity at last 16. Decolonization: lights and (many) shadows 17. From Keynes to neoliberalism 18. Third World, "Third Worlds" 19. The end of a great dream 20. Unstable leadership 21. Europe in search of an identity 22. The globalized world 23. A different kind of crisis? 24. In praise of history
Living up to its title, this volume puts the global economy front and center in a concise history that covers the Neolithic Revolution through the 2008 financial crisis in only a few hundred pages. Editors Colli and Amatori (both, Bocconi Univ., Italy) focus on how goods, services, and resources moved across national boundaries, using the experiences of individual countries in service to the larger theme. Chapters elucidate how these systems evolved in response to flows of goods and resources and in turn shaped them over time, primarily centering on the period since roughly AD 1700, what economic historians have come to call “the Great Divergence.” This is when western European (and later North American) incomes per person started growing much more rapidly than in the rest of the world. The book grapples with both the causes of this divergence and the consequences for the global economy. The text’s greatest strength is its up-to-date scholarship, bringing the latest findings to bear on classic issues such as late-19th-century globalization and the origins of the Great Depression, making this an excellent addition to any economic historian’s or library’s collection.
--L. D. Johnston, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University