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Home > Catalogue > An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe
An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe


  • 41 tables
  • Page extent: 374 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 0.6 kg
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 (ISBN-13: 9780521672689 | ISBN-10: 0521672686)

DOI: 10.2277/0521672686

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available | Adobe eBook
  • Published April 2006

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A major history of economic regimes and economic performance throughout the twentieth century. Ivan T. Berend looks at the historic development of the twentieth-century European economy, examining both its failures and its successes in responding to the challenges of this crisis-ridden and troubled but highly successful age. The book surveys the European economy's chronological development, the main factors of economic growth, and the various economic regimes that were invented and introduced in Europe during the twentieth century. Professor Berend shows how the vast disparity between the European regions that had characterized earlier periods gradually began to disappear during the course of the twentieth century as more and more countries reached a more or less similar level of economic development. This accessible book will be required reading for students in European economic history, economics, and modern European history.

• Accessible survey of economic regimes and economic performance in Europe throughout the twentieth century • Additional features include twenty case studies, such as Nokia, the Web, etc. • This will be essential reading for undergraduate and graduate students in European history, European economic history and comparative economic systems


1. Europe's Laissez-Faire System and its Impact Before World War I; 2. Decline of Laissez-Faire and the Rise of the Regulated Market System; 3. Economic Dirigisme in Authoritarian-Fascist Regimes; 4. The Centrally Planned Economic System; 5. Mixed economy and Welfare State in Post-World War II Western Europe; 6. Globalization: return to Laissez-Faire?; Bibliography.


'This is a major new economic history of twentieth-century Europe by a distinguished practitioner who has lived through more than two-thirds of the period. The book is very successfully organised around the rise and fall of economic regimes in different periods. This intriguing story takes the reader from the classical laissez-faire system before 1914, via interwar experiments in the regulated market system, Fascist economic dirigisme and socialist central planning, to the post-1945 rise of the mixed economy and welfare state in an integrating western Europe, and finally from the 1980s, back in the direction of laissez-faire in a globalising economy. It is essential reading for any serious student of European economic history, twentieth-century history, or comparative economic systems.' Stephen Broadberry, University of Warwick

'Ivan Berend's impressive new textbook analyses the twentieth-century European economy as 'a laboratory of economic systems.' The primary focus on political economy is well motivated and deftly handled. The author's control over the material is commanding-Berend effectively integrates analytical insights on issues relating to growth, distribution and the environment within a coherent narrative framework. I learned a great deal from this book, especially on the forms and role of economic dirigisme in authoritarian-fascist regimes. Undergraduates will especially appreciate the clear prose and uncluttered analytical style, as well as the sympathetic use of vignettes of European economic activity in the last century.' Mark Thomas, University of Virginia

'Ivan Berend's career has taken him from a Nazi concentration camp as a Hungarian schoolboy to a distinguished national and international position as a scholar - he has been both President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and of the International Congress of Historical Sciences- and a chair in Los Angeles. This lucid, balanced and authoritative survey of the achievements, inequalities and economic potential of our continent, indispensable for the understanding of Europe's future in the 21st century, has a lifetime of historical experience in economic change behind it.' Eric Hobsbawm, Birkbeck College, University of London

'Ivan Berend's book opens new horizons for the study of economic growth and development in twentieth-century Europe. Instead of focusing exclusively on Western Europe, the book encompasses Scandinavia, Ireland, Portugal, the Mediterranean and the countries of Central-eastern and Central-southern Europe, Russia and the Balkans. This results in a fascinating comparative perspective on economic growth and performance and its ideological, political and institutional context from a national as well as from a European and global perspective. In addition Berend's tour de force also serves as a history of European integration and of Europe's successful participation in economic globalisation towards the century's end. An Economic History of Twentieth-Century Europe will be compulsory reading for students and for all those interested in the economic history of contemporary Europe. Herman Van der Wee, Leuven University

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