Call for Papers: Economic Consequences of the Peace Centenary Conference


Paper proposals are invited for a conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of J. M. Keynes’s The Economic Consequences of the Peace.

Keynes’s 1919 book is celebrated as a brilliant piece of advocacy by one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent economists. But it is also an accurate prophecy of the consequences of a “Carthaginian peace,” as well as a plea for the type of global economic cooperation that later informed key aspects of reconstruction after World War II – including the Bretton Woods institutions (which Keynes helped to design) and the Marshall Plan. With its description of resurgent nationalism in Europe and the breakdown of pre-WWI international economic integration, the book has great resonance today, given growing nationalism, the fraying of traditional alliances, and attacks on the multilateral institutions that have supported economic and financial globalization.

Papers are solicited across a range of disciplines – including economics, history, political science, and international relations – with the unifying theme being Keynes’s classic polemic and how we view it today in the light of both the past century’s developments and current challenges.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The intellectual setting in 1919 and critiques of Economic Consequences
  • How did Keynes’s experience in 1919 shape his views on the postwar international
  • monetary system?
  • Globalization before and after World War I
  • Economic, social, and political implications of large international debt, especially
  • as regards the implications of a high debt burden on income and wealth inequality,
  • and social and political polarization
  • Reparations and global capital-market instability in the interwar period
  • Can multilateralism survive in an unbalanced world? Lessons from (the failures of) the Versailles system
  • Roots of interwar inflations and Keynes’s views on monetary policy
  • Cooperation, punishment, and retribution in international relations
  • The transfer problem in international economics and its relevance for the dynamics of global imbalances
  • The influence of Economic Consequences on organizing peace and reconstruction after international conflicts

It is hoped that the conference papers, together with an introduction by the conference organizers, will be published by a distinguished university press.

Proposals will be welcomed up until a closing date of April 26, 2019. Please send proposals (no more than 300 words) via email to ECPcentenary@econ.cam.ac.uk and obstfeld@berkeley.edu.

Scientific Committee: Patricia Clavin (Oxford), Giancarlo Corsetti (Cambridge), Maurice Obstfeld (Berkeley), and Adam Tooze (Columbia).

Organizing Committee: Giancarlo Corsetti and David Howarth (Cambridge), Misa Tanaka (Bank of England), Eugenio Gaiotti (Banca d’Italia), and Jesper Lind´e (Sveriges Riksbank)