Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor: American Economic Development Policy toward the Arab East, 1942-1949

By Nathan Godfried | Go to book overview

Prologue

The demand for, and the corresponding debate over, economic development of poor areas took recognizable shape during the 1940s. Most foreign policy histories of the 1940s and the Cold War era plunge into the decade's crises and great power conflicts.( 1) obsession with the "horizontal dimension of rivalry among the most powerful states" (e.g., the American- Soviet confrontation) obscures the vertical dimension of power--that is, "the domination and subordination of metropole over hinterland, centre over periphery, in a world political economy."( 2) Also lost in the morass of big power politics is an understanding of the "reciprocal and dynamic interaction" of polity and economy.( 3) A political economy perspective avoids these pitfalls and thus illuminates U.S.-Third World relations and the issue of economic development during the 1940s.


POLITICAL ECONOMY: CAPITALISM, CORPORATISM, AND THE WORLD SYSTEM

Taking a political economy approach to American foreign relations involves examining events on several planes and dimensions simultaneously. American policies toward the Third World derived from the internal needs of a capitalist and corporatist nation. Those policies also represented the demands and responsibilities of a hegemonic power in a capitalist world-economy. The following sections examine separately the internal and external determinants of American foreign relations. In practice these levels of analysis intersect and overlap.

A political economy perspective recognizes a reciprocal relationship between socioeconomic structures and political superstructures. An economic structure is a mode of production. It consists of a set of productive forces or means of production--for example, raw materials, tools, technology, skills, energy, and so forth. It also entails the ways people relate to one another in producing, distributing, and exchanging goods. These social relations of production describe who owns and/or controls the means of production, the division of labor, and the network of exchange relations. Social relations of production define class structure and class struggle

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Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor: American Economic Development Policy toward the Arab East, 1942-1949
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions In Economics and Economic History Series Editor: Robert Sobel ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Prologue 1
  • Conclusion 18
  • Notes 19
  • 1 - Economic Development as a Postwar Goal 28
  • Notes 52
  • 2 - Reconstruction Versus Development: 1946-1949 62
  • 3 - Reconstruction Versus Development: Financial and Technical Aid 96
  • Notes 113
  • 4 - America's Development Policy and the Arab East: 1942-1949 121
  • 4 America's Development Policy and the Arab East: 1942-1949 137
  • 5 - Arab East Development and the United States, 1942-1949: Case Studies 149
  • Conclusion 173
  • Notes 175
  • Epilogue: The United States and Third World Development 185
  • Notes 196
  • Appendix 199
  • Notes 203
  • Select Bibliography 205
  • Index 217
  • About the Author 225
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