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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article argues that while Richard Cooper's economic observations are broadly valid they are incomplete and need to be supplemented by a political analysis of how the notion of ‘growing economic interdependence’ has enabled state managers to use the idea of ‘international economic constraint’ to achieve domestic policy objectives. It specifically examines a number of key themes including the utility of the ‘politicization-depoliticization’ couplet; the changing character of state–economy relations; and the notion of the specificity of British capitalism. In many respects, the recent history of Britain's articulation with the international economy is one of a movement from relative ‘openness’ in the nineteenth century to relative ‘closedness’ in the period 1930–60 and thereafter regaining ‘openness’ as market forces were given a key role by state managers in determining international transactions.

Keywords: international economy, Richard Cooper, domestic policy, politicization, depoliticization, British capitalism, openness

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