Robert Skidelsky
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Academic papers

Dag Hammarskjold’s Assumptions and the Future of the UN
Robert Skidelsky
The adventures of Peace. Dag Hammarskjold and the future of the UN. Edited by Sten Ask and Anna Mark-Jungkvist (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) | Monday, October 17, 2005

 
Hammarskjold’s Context
 
The United Nations, of which Dag Hammarskjold became Secretary-General in 1953, had already had to establish itself in a world very different from the one imagined by those who drafted its Charter. It was set up to put an end to aggressive acts of war such as those unleashed by Japan, Italy, and Germany in the 1930s. It hoped to do so by getting all states to sign up to a charter renouncing the use of war as an instrument of policy. Enforcement (Chapter VII of the Charter) was the province of the Security Council, in which were seated the permanent members (Britain, China, France, the USA and the USSR), each equipped with a veto. Most of the remaining forty states, in the General Assembly, could be relied on to

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The reinvention of Blair
Robert Skidelsky
The Blair Effect 2001-5 edited by Anthony Seldon and Dennis Kavanagh (Cambridge university Press, 2005) | Saturday, September 17, 2005

 
In 1992, when Tony Blair was Shadow Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, the actual Home Secretary, said of him ‘he’s so shadowy it’s ridiculous’, and went on to quote a jingle: ‘As I was going up a stair, I met a man who wasn’t there’. Eight years into his premiership, the question of who Blair is, what he believes in, is scarcely closer to being answered. One is tempted to write of him, as Keynes did of Lloyd George: ‘[He] is rooted in nothing; he is void and without content; he is an instrument and a player at the same time’. In fact Lloyd George is probably the prime minister Blair most resembles. Keynes praised Lloyd George’s ‘natural good instincts, his industry, his inexhaustible nervous vitality’, his ‘vast stores of spirit and of

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Keynes, Globalisation and the Bretton Woods Institutions in the Light of Changing Ideas about Market
Robert Skidelsky
World Economics, Vol. 6, No. 1, November 2004 | Wednesday, November 17, 2004

 
I. Markets and Institutions
 
Globalisation has been defined as ‘integration of economic activities, across borders, through markets’. It is both descriptive and prescriptive: a process and a project. In the latter aspect it is partly a growth project. One writer has summed: ‘By conforming to comparative advantage an economy also follows its optimal growth path’. That is, market-led development maximises welfare over time.
 
For most of the 20th century most economists did not believe in such a close connection between markets and economic well-being Pessimism about, and hostility to, markets was prevalent. This pulled in an anti-globalist direction. The main shift in thinking in our own day has been towards a renewal of the market

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Ownership in a Post-Collectivist Society
Robert Skidelsky
Monday, January 12, 1998

 
The two key terms in the discussion 'ownership' and 'post-collectivism' are notoriously difficult to define. Perhaps I can give a better account of my position if I approach it from standpoint of 'post-collectivism'.
 
In standard political (and I think economic) thought, collectivism is synonymous with collective, usually state, ownership of the means of production,distribution and exchange.Individual ownership is confined to consumer goods. Soviet Communism is the main historical example, but Clause 4 socialism aspired to this. Individual ownership of productive resources is the antithesis.
 
In my book, The World After Communism, I gave a broader definition.It seemed odd to say that Nazi Germany was not a collectivist society, even

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