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Bowdoin College

Hegemony

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On Kindleberger And Hegemony: From Berlin To M.I.T. And Back, Stephen Meardon Sep 2013

On Kindleberger And Hegemony: From Berlin To M.I.T. And Back, Stephen Meardon

Economics Department Working Paper Series

The most notable idea of Charles P. Kindleberger’s later career is the value of a single country acting as stabilizer of an international economy prone to instability. It runs through his widely read books, The World in Depression, 1929-1939 (1973), Manias, Crises, and Panics (1978), A Financial History of Western Europe (1984), and kindred works. “Hegemonic stability,” the idea is called in the literature it inspired. This essay traces Kindleberger’s attachment to the idea back to his tenure as chief of the State Department’s Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs from 1945 to 1947 and adviser ...