The Industrial Revolution and Birth of the Anti-Mercantilist Idea:Epistemic Communities and Global Leadership

Daniel J. Whiteneck

Abstract


This paper seeks to offer a new perspective on the linkage between global leadership and the role of epistemic communities in international relations. The issue of bilateral trade liberalization between Great Britain and its trading partners rose to prominence on the global agenda in the 1700s by the efforts of British political economists and merchants. These efforts were prompted by changes in economic relations brought about by the Industrial Revolution and its impact on the mercantile system. While this group was small in number and its interactions rudimentary by 20th Century standards, it nonetheless met the qualifications specified by many scholars. It is further argued that such communities are linked to the exercise of global leadership in the long cycle model's phases of agenda setting and coalition building. They arc started and based in the global leader, and arc nurtured by the relatively open social and political structures of that leader. Evidence supporting this argument strengthens the long cycle model's explanatorypower with regard to agenda setting, coalition creation, and the role of innovative solutions to global problems, and makes preeminence in knowledge -based communities another dimension of global leadership.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jwsr.1996.69

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Copyright (c) 2015 Daniel J. Whiteneck

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