The Geography of Money

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9780801435133: The Geography of Money

The traditional assumption holds that the territory of money coincides precisely with the political frontiers of each nation state: France has the franc, the United Kingdom has the pound, the United States has the dollar. But the disparity between that simple mental landscape and the actual organization of currency spaces has grown in recent years, as territorial boundaries of individual states limit currency circulation less and less. Many currencies are used outside their "home" country for transactions either between nations or within foreign states. In this book, Benjamin J. Cohen asks what this new geography of money reveals about financial and political power.

Cohen shows how recent changes in the geography of money challenge state sovereignty. He examines the role of money and the scope of cross-border currency competition in today's world. Drawing on new work in geography and network theory to explain the new spatial organization of monetary relations, Cohen suggests that international relations, political as well as economic, are being dramatically reshaped by the increasing interpenetration of national monetary spaces. This process, he explains, generates tensions and insecurities as well as opportunities for cooperation.

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Review:

"Cohen shows how the widespread use of the U.S. dollar outside its borders, the push for a common European currency, and growing cross-border competition worldwide require a new consideration of 'the role that money plays in today's world. He looks at the historical antecedents for monetary sovereignty and at the alternatives that might arise when currency domains are no longer defined by territorial frontiers, and he provides a complex analysis of the political and economic implications of any changes that might take place."―Booklist

"Cohen explosively challenges the conventional wisdom of our time. . . . Cohen's new road map provides a fresh explanation for the existence of . . . tensions between the currency interest groups, and more importantly, it indicates where the opportunities for cooperation are to be found. . . . The book is clearly written and tells a story well. The relatively minimal use of 'jargon' makes it eminently readable, even by those with no formal training in economics."―Monash MT Eliza Business Review

"This book is refreshing in its approach, which steadfastly refuses to see the globalization of finance as either cancer or panacea. . . . Scholars and policy makers will need a 'new mental map,' according to Cohen, if they are to understand money today, and this book is a good beginning. The excellent biography is the icing on the cake."―Choice

"I found The Geography of Money enjoyable and would recommend it to both general readers and economists, with the caveat to the former that its treatment of the topics is not the typical treatment of an economist."―Omotunde E.G. Johnson, Finance and Development

"The Geography of Money ventures far beyond economics and concerns itself with much more than American public policy. It is a sustained engagement with the literature devoted to monetary relations from the disciplines of economics, politics, international relations, and geography, and it does so on a genuinely world scaled. For this alone it must be applauded. . . . An ambitious book. . . . Benjamin Cohen has provided a valuable service by alerting us to the need to sketch a new mental map of monetary geography. "―International Affairs

"This original and exciting book by Benjamin Cohen is devoted to exposing the bankruptcy of orthodox views and to laying outh a new intellectual framework for the geography of money that directly addresses the new reality of cross-border currency flows and competition. . . Cohen synthesizes a vast literature. . . into eight meaty but readily comprehensible chapters that are nothing like the typical grim writing of the average exponent of the dismal science. By using relevant examples and telling anecdotes, Cohen makes the world of money positively explode with interest and meaning for anyone minimally concerned about current trends in the world economy."―John Agnew, UCLA, The Annals of the American Academy. November, 1999.

"Benjamin Cohen is one of a rare breed of professional economists who have bravely ventured into the dangerous waters of international political economy. The Geography of Money is erudite, readable, and will be relished by students of international relations, aware as they are of the looming dangers of globalised finance."―Susan Strange, author of The Retreat of the State: The Diffusion of Power in the World Economy

"A new and challenging explanation for the different domains of national currencies, which draws on the insight of economists and political scientists―it should be read by both."―Peter B. Kenen, Princeton University

"A highly original and compelling analysis of the political and economic effects, between and within nations, of changes in the organization of currencies. Displays all the Jerry Cohen trademarks: crystal-clear writing, trenchant historical insight, and deep understanding of the intricate ties between money and power."―Joanne Gowa, Princeton University

"Professor Cohen cuts through the rhetoric of globalization and provides an excellent, detailed road map to the new and slippery monetary terrain that confronts policymakers and analysts."―Miles Kahler, University of California, San Diego

"Benjamin Cohen provides us with a provocative and lively exploration of the internationalization of money and of its policy implications."―Robert Solomon, Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institution

"During this era of global capital markets and currency volatility, Benjamin Cohen has written a book that is timely, informative, and thought-provoking. His refreshing multidisciplinary approach to the role of money in international affairs should be read by all who wish to gain a better understanding of the forces that shape today's global money markets."―Charles H. Dallara, Managing Director, Institute of International Finance, Inc.

From Booklist:

The language that a people speak, the money they use, and the flag that they wave all have traditionally contributed to the essence of their national identity. Yet, as Cohen notes, the idea of a national currency is a relatively recent one, and he goes on to suggest that current events are challenging the concept he calls "one nation/one money." A professor of political economics at the University of California^-Santa Barbara, Cohen shows how the widespread use of the U.S. dollar outside its borders, the push for a common European currency, and growing cross-border competition worldwide require a new consideration of "the role that money plays in today's world." He looks at the historical antecedents for monetary sovereignty and at the alternatives that might arise when "currency domains are no longer defined by territorial frontiers," and he provides a complex analysis of the political and economic implications of any changes that might take place. David Rouse

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Benjamin J. Cohen
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