Harold James Biography
Professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University and a senior fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation, Harold is a specialist on German economic history and on globalisation.
He is a co-author of the new book The Euro and The Battle of Ideas and the author of The Creation and Destruction of Value: The Globalization Cycle, Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm and Making the European Monetary Union.
Harold attended Cambridge University and was a Fellow of Peterhouse for eight years before joining Princeton University in 1986. He is director of the Center for European Politics and Society at Princeton. He is also Marie Curie Visiting Professor at the European University Institute and writes a monthly column for Project Syndicate.
Harold James has written extensively on the economic implications of globalisation, drawing comparisons with historical attempts at globalisation which ended with the Great Depression in 1929. He argues the Great Depression must not be considered as only an American phenomenon, but instead as a global economic crisis. He examines the contemporary issues associated with globalisation in the context of larger economic trends, which were disrupted by the World Wars and the Great Depression.
His most recent book: The Euro and the Battle of Ideas was published in September 2016 and has received fantastic reviews from Larry Summers and Ben Bernanke the-euro-and-the-battle-of-ideas Why is Europe’s great monetary endeavor, the Euro, in trouble? A string of economic difficulties in Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and other Eurozone nations has left observers wondering whether the currency union can survive. In this book, Markus Brunnermeier, Harold James and Jean-Pierre Landau argue that the core problem with the Euro lies in the philosophical differences between the founding countries of the Eurozone, particularly Germany and France. But the authors also show how these seemingly incompatible differences can be reconciled to ensure Europe’s survival.
As the authors demonstrate, Germany, a federal state with strong regional governments, saw the Maastricht Treaty, the framework for the Euro, as a set of rules. France, on the other hand, with a more centralized system of government, saw the framework as flexible, to be overseen by governments. The authors discuss how the troubles faced by the Euro have led its member states to focus on national, as opposed to collective, responses, a reaction explained by the resurgence of the battle of economic ideas: rules vs. discretion, liability vs. solidarity, solvency vs. liquidity, austerity vs. stimulus.
Weaving together economic analysis and historical reflection, The Euro and the Battle of Ideas provides a forensic investigation and a road map for Europe’s future.
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Testimonials for Harold James
“A book of depth and subtlety that is helpful in understanding matters well outside the questions it seems to address. . . . This is a fascinating and informative book.”
“The advent of the Euro is a singular event in monetary history. This is the best and most important book so far on an experiment with profound economic and geopolitical implications.”
“International divergences in economic policy are as much the result of differences in intellectual frameworks as of variation in economic circumstances. This valuable book explains the critical differences in national economic philosophies and how they have conditioned policy choices over the past decade.”
“[The authors] have the advantage of being deeply involved. . . . If Europe is high on your list of concerns, you should read this book; European leaders will.”
“I very much appreciate this book’s efforts to explain the highly diverse approaches to economic and fiscal policy in Europe and to shape them into a common strategy. If this could succeed in reality in today’s Europe, much would be gained indeed.”
Harold James‘s Topics
Economics & Geopolitics
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Global Order After the Financial Crisis
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