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The Political Economy of International Relations

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After the end of World War II, the United States, by far the dominant economic and military power at that time, joined with the surviving capitalist democracies to create an unprecedented institutional framework. In this book, Robert Gilpin argues that American power had been essential for establishing these institutions, and waning American support threatened the basis of postwar cooperation and the great prosperity of the period. For Gilpin, a great power such as the United States is essential to fostering international cooperation. Exploring the relationship between politics and economics first highlighted by Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and other thinkers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Gilpin demonstrated the close ties between politics and economics in international relations, outlining the key role played by the creative use of power in the support of an institutional framework that created a world economy.