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International economic integration is perceived as one of the paramount forces shaping the modern world. Many organizations, both public and private, are trying to combine economic activities across international borders. The European Union and the North American Free Trade Area are two examples of government-managed international economic integration. Private organizations include various criminal groups as well as international churches.
International economic integration is not a recent phenomenon; its roots can be traced back to the Roman Empire. International Economic Integration in Historical Perspective departs from the conventional short-term analysis and takes a long-term view of the process, offering perspectives that are both detailed and diverse. Dennis M. P. McCarthy examines seven types of organizations that exemplify international economic integration, such as colonial empires, merchant associations, religious empires, criminal empires, free trade areas, customs unions and commonmarkets. Representative examples of each type are analyzed in a comparative framework. An introduction defines key terms and concepts; a retrospective summarizes the main insights that emerge from the book. Endnotes and a detailed bibliography offer readers ways to pursue topics further.
This timely and unique book demonstrates that international economic integration is an economic and political process that also involves political economy. International Economic Integration in Historical Perspective will prove indispensable to students and general readers who wish to gain a firm understanding of international economics and the processes that shape the world today.