Is globalization leading us toward a world of fewer and fewer currencies and, consequently, simplified monetary management? Many specialists believe this is the case, as the territorial monopolies national governments have long claimed over money appears to be eroding. In The Future of Money, Benjamin Cohen argues that this view--which he calls the "Contraction Contention"--is wrong. Rigorously argued, written with extraordinary clarity, and thoroughly up-to-date, this book demonstrates that the global population of currencies is set to expand greatly, not contract, making monetary governance more difficult, not less.
At the book's core is an innovative theoretical model for understanding the strategic preferences of states in monetary management. Should governments defend their traditional monetary sovereignty, or should they seek some kind of regional consolidation of currencies? The model offers two broad advances. First, whereas most scholarly work evaluates strategic options individually or in comparison to just one other alternative, this model emphasizes the three-dimensional nature of the decisions involved. Second, the model emphasizes degrees of currency regionalization as a central determinant of state preferences. Cohen also systematically explores the role of the private sector as an alternative source of money.
The book concludes with two key policy proposals. First, fiscal policy should be resurrected as a tool of macroeconomic management, to offset the present-day erosion in the effectiveness of monetary policy. Second, the International Monetary Fund should more actively help coordinate the decentralized strategic decision-making of governments. The future of money will be perilous. But, by mapping out the alternative policies countries can follow, The Future of Money shows it need not be chaotic.
"An informative discussion of various currency arrangements, from exclusive reliance on a national currency to bimonetarism to the adoption of foreign currency as official legal tender, touching on both academic and practical arguments for each."--Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs
"Cohen has produced yet another excellent volume on the political economy of international monetary affairs. . . . Like most of Cohen's scholarship, [this book] displays the author's remarkable facility with the vast breadth of issues, theories, puzzles, and esoterica associated with monetary matters, as well as a confident command of monetary policy and history."--Jonathan Kirshner, Perspectives on Politics
"Jerry Cohen is without peer as a scholar working at the crossroads of international economics and international relations. Here is the definitive book on the contemporary and likely future politics of global money. Well researched and well written, it provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of international monetary relations. Specialists will discover original and iconoclastic insights. Undergraduate and graduate students will find an exceptionally clear and accessible presentation of an important and multifaceted subject. Practitioners will benefit from provocative and convincing forecasts. Highly recommended."--Louis W. Pauly, Canada Research Chair and Director, Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations ix
One: The Changing Geography of Money 1
Two: Four Directions 33
Appendix: Tables 62
Three: Life at the Peak 67
Four: The Art of Surviva l99
Five: Follow the Leader 123
Six: Hanging Together 153
Seven: New Frontiers 179
Eight: Governing the New Geography 203
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Benjamin J. Cohen: