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The Political Economy of the Cold War


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Speaker(s): Professor Niall Ferguson
Chair: Professor Arne Westad

Recorded on 18 October 2010 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

At its heart the Cold War was a competition between two economic systems. Despite having in common a "military-industrial complex", they were profoundly different in the degree of freedom they offered their citizens, the living standards they were able to achieve and the pace of technological innovation they could sustain. In this first lecture, Niall Ferguson compares and contrasts the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War and asks how far the outcome of the Cold War was economically determined from the outset. In particular, what role did commercial and financial globalisation play in enhancing U.S. power in the world? And how serious a threat did inflation pose to the United States in the 1970s? Professor Niall Ferguson is the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs for the 2010-2011 academic year.

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