"Knave Proof": The Macroeconomics of Stabilization in Europe and the U.S., 1919-1926



Adam Tooze, Columbia University The violent politics of counter-revolution in the aftermath of World War I are eye-catching. But focusing on them can lead us to underestimate a larger and more broad-based phenomenon of unsettlement and restabilization that operated in the more abstract arena of macroeconomic forces. Between 1919 and the mid-1920s a gigantic cycle of inflation and deflation rocked the world economy. Here too a politics of stabilization was at work. It is one that operated in a classically counter-revolution fashion against the left and organized labor. But it also served to contain the more violent forces of the nationalist right-wing. It is precisely in this sphere that a liberal politics of stabilization was at its most powerful and effective. Adam Tooze is Professor of History at Columbia University. Previously, he was Professor at Yale University (2009 - 2015) and Director of International Security Studies at the University of Cambridge (1996 - 2009). He is an Invited Commission Member of