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Volume LI 1 - 2017

Symmetric Global Order with National Self-Determination and No Hegemon: Vision and Reality

Jörg Bibow, pp. 177 - 206
Abstract
This paper explores how today’s global monetary order differs from Keynes’ original vision, as captured by his early Bretton Woods drafts, and how we got here. It also speculates whether Keynes’ ideas, specifically his vision for the global monetary order, are still relevant to the contemporary world, after 80 years have passed since the publication of The General Theory. The paper argues that Keynes’ hope for a global order without a hegemon could be considered overly rational and maintains that it may be worthwhile to recall what Keynes himself wrote in his memoir My Early Beliefs: “civilization [is] a thin and precarious crust erected by the personality and the will of a very few, and only maintained by rules and conventions skillfully put across and guilefully preserved”.
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