David Priestland

David Priestland is the author of Merchant, Soldier, Sage. He teaches modern history at Oxford.

Habits of Empire: Financial Imperialism

David Priestland, 27 July 2023

InThe World Is Flat, published in 2005, Thomas Friedman argued that global trade and finance, presided over by international institutions – the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO – were making the planet not only richer but less hierarchical and unequal. This was a pumped-up version of the Enlightenment theory of doux commerce, which held that growing trade, founded on mutually...

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