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Contents:
  1. 1. The Study of Global Political Economy - Politics Trove
  2. Featured channels
  3. Recommended For You
  4. Structural and temporal patterns of the first global trading market
  5. Kondratieff (K-) Waves in the Modern World System

Trade networks reached north to Oasisamerica. There is evidence of established maritime trade with the cultures of northwestern South America and the Caribbean. During the Middle Ages , commerce developed in Europe by trading luxury goods at trade fairs. Wealth became converted into movable wealth or capital. Banking systems developed where money on account was transferred across national boundaries. Hand to hand markets became a feature of town life, and were regulated by town authorities.

Western Europe established a complex and expansive trade network with cargo ships being the main workhorse for the movement of goods, Cogs and Hulks are two examples of such cargo ships.

The International Grain Trade Problems and Prospects Routledge Library Editions Modern World Economy

The English port city of Bristol traded with peoples from what is modern day Iceland, all along the western coast of France, and down to what is now Spain. During the Middle Ages, Central Asia was the economic center of the world. They were the main caravan merchants of Central Asia. From the 8th to the 11th century, the Vikings and Varangians traded as they sailed from and to Scandinavia. Vikings sailed to Western Europe, while Varangians to Russia. The Hanseatic League was an alliance of trading cities that maintained a trade monopoly over most of Northern Europe and the Baltic , between the 13th and 17th centuries.

Vasco da Gama pioneered the European Spice trade in when he reached Calicut after sailing around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of the African continent. Prior to this, the flow of spice into Europe from India was controlled by Islamic powers, especially Egypt. The spice trade was of major economic importance and helped spur the Age of Discovery in Europe. Spices brought to Europe from the Eastern world were some of the most valuable commodities for their weight, sometimes rivaling gold.

1. The Study of Global Political Economy - Politics Trove

From onward, kingdoms in West Africa became significant members of global trade. Founded in , the Bengal Sultanate was a major trading nation in the world and often referred to by the Europeans as the richest country to trade with. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese gained economic advantage in the Kingdom of Kongo due to different philosophies of trade. According to economic historian Toby Green , in Kongo "giving more than receiving was a symbol of spiritual and political power, and privilege.

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In the 16th century, the Seventeen Provinces were the centre of free trade, imposing no exchange controls , and advocating the free movement of goods. Trade in the East Indies was dominated by Portugal in the 16th century, the Dutch Republic in the 17th century, and the British in the 18th century. It criticised Mercantilism , and argued that economic specialisation could benefit nations just as much as firms. Since the division of labour was restricted by the size of the market, he said that countries having access to larger markets would be able to divide labour more efficiently and thereby become more productive.

Smith said that he considered all rationalisations of import and export controls "dupery", which hurt the trading nation as a whole for the benefit of specific industries. In , the Dutch East India Company , formerly the world's largest company, became bankrupt , partly due to the rise of competitive free trade. In , David Ricardo , James Mill and Robert Torrens showed that free trade would benefit the industrially weak as well as the strong, in the famous theory of comparative advantage.

In Principles of Political Economy and Taxation Ricardo advanced the doctrine still considered the most counterintuitive in economics :. The ascendancy of free trade was primarily based on national advantage in the mid 19th century.

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That is, the calculation made was whether it was in any particular country's self-interest to open its borders to imports. John Stuart Mill proved that a country with monopoly pricing power on the international market could manipulate the terms of trade through maintaining tariffs , and that the response to this might be reciprocity in trade policy.

Ricardo and others had suggested this earlier.

This was taken as evidence against the universal doctrine of free trade, as it was believed that more of the economic surplus of trade would accrue to a country following reciprocal , rather than completely free, trade policies. This was followed within a few years by the infant industry scenario developed by Mill promoting the theory that government had the duty to protect young industries, although only for a time necessary for them to develop full capacity. This became the policy in many countries attempting to industrialise and out-compete English exporters.

Milton Friedman later continued this vein of thought, showing that in a few circumstances tariffs might be beneficial to the host country; but never for the world at large. The Great Depression was a major economic recession that ran from to the late s.


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During this period, there was a great drop in trade and other economic indicators. The lack of free trade was considered by many as a principal cause of the depression causing stagnation and inflation. Also during the war, in , 44 countries signed the Bretton Woods Agreement , intended to prevent national trade barriers, to avoid depressions.

Structural and temporal patterns of the first global trading market

It set up rules and institutions to regulate the international political economy : the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development later divided into the World Bank and Bank for International Settlements. These organisations became operational in after enough countries ratified the agreement. In , 23 countries agreed to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade to promote free trade. The European Union became the world's largest exporter of manufactured goods and services, the biggest export market for around 80 countries.

Today, trade is merely a subset within a complex system of companies which try to maximize their profits by offering products and services to the market which consists both of individuals and other companies at the lowest production cost. A system of international trade has helped to develop the world economy but, in combination with bilateral or multilateral agreements to lower tariffs or to achieve free trade , has sometimes harmed third-world markets for local products.

Protectionism is the policy of restraining and discouraging trade between states and contrasts with the policy of free trade. This policy often takes of form of tariffs and restrictive quotas. Protectionist policies were particularly prevalent in the s, between the Great Depression and the onset of World War II.


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  • Islamic teachings encourage trading and condemn usury or interest. Judeao-Christian teachings prohibit fraud and dishonest measures, and historically also forbade the charging of interest on loans. The first instances of money were objects with intrinsic value. This is called commodity money and includes any commonly available commodity that has intrinsic value; historical examples include pigs, rare seashells, whale's teeth, and often cattle.

    Kondratieff (K-) Waves in the Modern World System

    In medieval Iraq, bread was used as an early form of money. In Mexico under Montezuma cocoa beans were money. Currency was introduced as a standardised money to facilitate a wider exchange of goods and services.

    sne77.fr/includes/leflore/la-rencontre.php This first stage of currency, where metals were used to represent stored value, and symbols to represent commodities, formed the basis of trade in the Fertile Crescent for over years. Numismatists have examples of coins from the earliest large-scale societies, although these were initially unmarked lumps of precious metal. The Doha round of World Trade Organization negotiations aimed to lower barriers to trade around the world, with a focus on making trade fairer for developing countries.

    Talks have been hung over a divide between the rich developed countries , represented by the G20 , and the major developing countries. Agricultural subsidies are the most significant issue upon which agreement has been hardest to negotiate. By contrast, there was much agreement on trade facilitation and capacity building. In contrast to the previous Soviet -style centrally planned economy , the new measures progressively relaxed restrictions on farming, agricultural distribution and, several years later, urban enterprises and labor. The more market-oriented approach reduced inefficiencies and stimulated private investment, particularly by farmers, that led to increased productivity and output.

    One feature was the establishment of four later five Special Economic Zones located along the South-east coast. The reforms proved spectacularly successful in terms of increased output, variety, quality, price and demand. In real terms, the economy doubled in size between and , doubled again by , and again by On a real per capita basis, doubling from the base took place in , and By , the economy was International trade progressed even more rapidly, doubling on average every 4. Total two-way trade in January exceeded that for all of ; in the first quarter of , trade exceeded the full-year level.

    International trade is the exchange of goods and services across national borders. In most countries, it represents a significant part of GDP.