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Political Rivalry and International Economic Competition: the centralization of captial and the outbreak of World War I

Grant number: 11/19356-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics - International Economy
Principal researcher:Eduardo Barros Mariutti
Grantee:Thomas Victor Conti
Home Institution: Instituto de Economia (IE). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The objective of this research is to understand the nature of the imperialist forces at the end of the nineteenth century that were responsible for the crisis of British hegemony and the outbreak of the First World War. We start with a central hypothesis: the British order was originally based on its dominance in international trade. However, the process of centralization of capital spread the industrialization to a limited set of countries, what enabled a new kind of political rivalry, based on the symbiosis between the national capital and the state, increasingly supported by nationalism. The competition between national capitals engendered an expansionist policy that divided the world into spheres of influence increasingly hostile, who, on assuming a bipolar shape, resulted in the Great War.