chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

The national economy and the international economy are two nominal objects that at once underwrite and are the targets of a host of governmental programmes and desires. We associate management of the national economy with government budgets and central banks, while international economic governance is shaped by inter-governmental bodies such as the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund. These practices and institutions are central to contemporary political life, and it is therefore no surprise that the nature and purpose of the national and international economies have been formulated in diverse doctrines, from fascism to free trade, and subjected to fierce political contest. This book describes the historical emergence of the domestic and international economies as independent intellectual objects. More specifically, it investigates how the domestic economy came to be seen as a domain separate from the state, and how the international economy came to be seen as possessing its own self-regulating nature independent of the governmental actions of sovereign states.