As the key means by which a national state is integrated into the global economy, the question of exchange rate policy-making is of central importance to an understanding of high-level political and economic developments. This book analyses the topic from an 'open Marxist' perspective, and views exchange rate policy-making as part of a wider governing strategy devised to contain class struggle, secure favourable conditions for capital accumulation, and ensure high political freedom. This provides a new and challenging means of interpreting Britain's interwar gold standard policy, its membership of the Exchange Rate Mechanism, and New Labour's attitude towards joining the single European currency. These are examined as strategies designed to address long-term economic and political difficulties through the imposition of financial discipline and through the 'depoliticisation' of economic conditions and policy-making. With the exception of the single currency, they are also considered to have been relatively successful in achieving these aims.

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