An Introduction to World Economics

An Introduction to World Economics

An Introduction to World Economics

An Introduction to World Economics

Excerpt

Most broad studies of international or world affairs have been written by historians and political scientists. Economists have surveyed international trade or foreign exchange or foreign investments or other special aspects of the larger field. Occasional volumes have been designated as "international economics," but the treatment has not been so comprehensive as those words suggest. It is believed by the writer that a more inclusive analysis will be helpful.

Whether it should be called "world economics" or "international economics" may be debatable, but the former seems the better. "International" connotes the existence of separate nations, each with some degree of sovereignty and independence. The United Nations Organization is "based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members" and, at least by inference, on their separateness. Most of what we call "current problems" in the field arise because of strains in the relations between nations.

On the other hand, sovereignty is de facto highly qualified, no matter what it may be de jure. In size of territory and of populations, in resources, in military and political power, equality does not exist. By every agreement into which a nation enters, its sovereignty is qualified, even though only in specific ways and for a limited time. If sovereignty refers to some exclusive right of a state within its own national boundaries, this right is being more and more challenged, since so many actions that are nominally domestic or internal are apt to affect relations with other nations.

Accordingly, this volume undertakes to survey the world as a vast economic area by examining its population and resources and the business relations between its parts. Much of the data is available only on a national basis, and many of the strains are national. Nevertheless, we are feeling our way toward a reduction in the significance of national boundary lines. As to how far and how rapidly this movement will proceed, no prediction is ventured. It may well be that another world conflict will come before a world government or a world economy, or even an appreciable start toward them, can . . .

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