Banking on Sterling
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Banking on Sterling : Britain's Independence from the Euro Zone

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Banking on Sterling: Britain's Independence from the Euro Zone, by Ophelia Eglene, provides an in-depth analysis of the British policy on the European monetary union over the past twenty years. The author demonstrates that the British government always had in mind the interests of the financial sector. As London became a successful offshore euro center, the government increasingly compensated the export-oriented business sector that had lobbied for adoption of the euro. This study shows the unequal influence of business and finance on the British economy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 167 pages
  • 154 x 230 x 18mm | 399.16g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0739144103
  • 9780739144107

Review quote

Even before the financial crisis that began in 2007, scholars and pundits alike mused about Britain's "strange" relationship with the European Union, asking why the UK has failed to join its neighbors and adopt the euro. Existing answers do more to muddle than provide clarity or guidance as to the answer. Ophelia Eglene provides a much needed contribution to this discussion. Using a vast array of quantitative and qualitative evidence she demonstrates how economic self interest as much as history and cultural ties to the pound explain Britain's reluctance to join the eurozone. Her book will be of great interest to economists, political scientists and historians who are interested in understanding individual and social factors that drive international economic policy. -- David Leblang, University of Virginia In Banking on Sterling, Ophelia Eglene analyzes the political economy of British government policy toward the European Monetary System and the euro zone. She traces the trajectory of British policy from 1990 through 2007, demonstrating the impact of industrial and financial interests, as well as public opinion. Eglene grounds her analysis carefully in existing theoretical approaches, and brings to bear important evidence drawn both from the historical record and from original interviews with many of the principals. Banking on Sterling is particularly effective in demonstrating how the political economy of British policy changed over time as circumstances evolved. This book is a very valuable contribution to our understanding of the politics and economics of the euro, and of the European Union more broadly. It will also be read with great profit by anyone interested in the political economy of currency policy, and of foreign economic policy in general. -- Jeffry Frieden, Harvard University Eglene, a political scientist, follows [the United Kingdom's currency] events since 1990 and focuses on the United Kingdom's deliberations on joining the euro-that is, abolishing sterling altogether. She concludes that both the views of the United Kingdom's financial sector and official anxiety about it, rather than ideology or public opinion, played the decisive role in the country's procrastination with respect to joining the eurozone. Foreign Affairsshow more

About Ophelia Eglene

Ophelia Eglene is a visiting assistant professor in the political science department at Middlebury College.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Tables Chapter 2 Figures Chapter 3 Abbreviations Chapter 4 Acknowledgments Chapter 5 Chapter One: Britain and the Euro: The Policy of Non-Decision Chapter 6 Chapter Two: Economic Actors and Monetary Policy Chapter 7 Chapter Three: The Structure of the British Economy Chapter 8 Chapter Four: The Conservative Party and EMU Chapter 9 Chapter Five: The Blair Years and the Euro Chapter 10 Chapter Six: Business and the Euro Chapter 11 Chapter Seven: The City and the Euro Chapter 12 Chapter Eight: Conclusion Chapter 13 Appendix Chapter 14 Bibliography Chapter 15 Indexshow more

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