Skip navigation
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The Rise of Expert Opinion: The Bank of England and Interwar Economic Governance, 1914–1940
Authors: Yee, Robert Andrew
Advisors: CannadineJames, DavidHarold
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: Britain
Central banking
Financial crises
International relations
Interwar period
Subjects: History
Economic history
European history
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The Rise of Expert Opinion is a study of economic advice in the United Kingdom after the end of the First World War. It shows how the nation’s unresolved political and financial problems prompted a widespread search for expertise, most notably at the Bank of England. Through this endeavor, a group of newly hired advisers were able to gain reputations as leading experts on prevailing economic concerns. They served on government commissions and advisory committees where they found institutionalized channels for shaping policy. Seeking to uphold the tenets of economic orthodoxy, which included balanced budgets, free trade, and independent central banking, experts offered an intellectual defense of the Bank’s policies against its many critics, notably John Maynard Keynes. Their presence directly expanded the state’s responsibilities in industrial policy, imperial relations, and European reconstruction, areas in which the Bank had hitherto little role. It was through their subsequent reforms, coupled with the widespread interests in sustaining the primacy of the City of London as an international financial center, that experts became an integral component of modern governance. The broader aim of this research is to reconceptualize the structure of policymaking on a global scale. As expertise has become a dominant feature of central banks, national governments, and postwar international organizations, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the dual role of economists as both policymakers and academics may appear commonplace. Yet recent historical scholarship has shown the importance of the First World War as a key turning point in economic governance. As interwar institutions sought to preserve prewar geopolitical arrangements, they turned to outsider advisers with specialties in highly technical domains. Their efforts to stabilize the global financial system in response to war and depression not only influenced how intellectuals conceptualized the “economy” as an object to be studied, but it more broadly transformed the nature of policymaking in times of crisis. By offering solutions to issues in the realms of domestic, imperial, and foreign policies, the Bank of England and its experts built the structural foundation of the interwar economic order.
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

Files in This Item:
This content is embargoed until 2025-11-20. For questions about theses and dissertations, please contact the Mudd Manuscript Library. For questions about research datasets, as well as other inquiries, please contact the DataSpace curators.

Items in Dataspace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.