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Economic Power and Political Leadership: the Federal Republic, the West and the Re-shaping of the International Economic System, 1972-1976

Benning, Elizabeth (2011) Economic Power and Political Leadership: the Federal Republic, the West and the Re-shaping of the International Economic System, 1972-1976. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis explores the role the Federal Republic of Germany played in the transformation of the Western international economic system between 1972 and 1976. It has two main aims: first, it examines Bonn's activities in the shaping of the Western response to the collapse of the Bretton Woods monetary system, the first oil crisis 1973174 and the 1975 world recession; and second, it studies the effect of these actions on West Germany's political position in the Western alliance. As will be shown, Bonn was able to have a significant impact via four means: an ability to manage its economic and political goals; clever use of its economic strength; the adoption of a mediating role among its Western allies, above all the United States and France; and the strong political leadership of Helmut Schmidt (as finance minister, then chancellor). As a final consequence, the Federal Republic through a combination of its actions, the waning of American, French and British economic and political power, the transformation of the institutional setting and the advancement of economic issues to the fore of political debates achieved the permanent enhancement of its political status within the Western alliance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Elizabeth Jane Benning
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Sets: Departments > International History
Supervisor: Ludlow, N. Piers and Readman, Kristina
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3215

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