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Book part
Publication date: 19 February 2020

Claire Silvant and Clément Coste

The year 1848 is considered by historians as a political and economic turning point in France: a major political crisis took place in the form of the February Revolution…

Abstract

The year 1848 is considered by historians as a political and economic turning point in France: a major political crisis took place in the form of the February Revolution, accompanied by extensive financial troubles for the French government. The economists of that time actively debated the economic causes and consequences of the crisis. This chapter is devoted to the analysis of these financial controversies in French economic thought around 1848. If the political and philosophical debates of 1848 between the liberals and the socialists are quite well known by historians of economic thought, their financial side has been relatively neglected. According to the authors of this chapter, it is nevertheless of great interest to examine the liberal and socialist ideas of that time. This chapter aims to investigate this little-studied question by raising three main issues: the first one consists of presenting the different diagnoses of the 1848 financial crisis from socialist and liberal viewpoints. Second, it proposes an analysis of the content of theoretical controversies about ways to overcome the financial troubles, particularly regarding the trade-off between taxation and debt. Lastly, it emphasizes the role of this period for the subsequent constitution of a financial orthodoxy in France.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Public Finance in the History of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-699-5

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Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Pierre de Saint-Phalle

In 1767, did Sir James Steuart predict the political and financial crises that started the French Revolution? Étienne de Sénovert, the editor and translator of Steuart’s…

Abstract

In 1767, did Sir James Steuart predict the political and financial crises that started the French Revolution? Étienne de Sénovert, the editor and translator of Steuart’s work, seems to argue to this effect in the introduction to the first French edition of An Inquiry into the Principles of Political Economy in 1789. The visionary “prediction” set forth by Steuart was the following: if the king of France had introduced public credit, this would have changed the political balance in French political society, making it very unstable. The English and the French governments used different ways of borrowing money in 1760: the French king contracted debts with a network of financiers close to the government, while the English government borrowed on the credit markets through the intermediary of the Bank of England. The second of these methods constitutes public credit and has proved its efficiency. According to Steuart, implementing the English public credit system in France could have dangerous consequences. Landed interests and moneyed interests would compete for the control of the State. The author realized that the French nobility, the landowners, as a social and economic group would have no chance in facing such a powerful rival (the public creditors). In this chapter, the author analyzes Steuart’s “prediction” as a coherent part of his systematic and original approach to political economy. Steuart’s theories about the role of political economy and the role of “interest” are connected to his understanding of institutions. Introducing such a complex support for the value as public credit might have different consequences in France and England. Steuart thinks each country’s economy should be analyzed according to its own institutional and social context.

Steuart’s work was still relevant in 1789 for two reasons. Firstly, the author’s prediction of political antagonism between capitalists and nobility anticipated the political conflict about debt expressed by pamphleteers such as Sieyès, Mirabeau, and Clavière between 1787 and 1789. This is the context of Étienne de Sénovert’s claim: the political narrative built by the revolutionaries of 1789 (rescuing the “sacred” public debt from royal despotism) fitted Steuart’s prediction. This may have been the incentive for the translation and publication of his work in 1789 and 1790. Secondly, Steuart’s financial and monetary theory was at the heart of the project of financial reform that would lead to the assignats. Steuart’s (1767) theory of public finance and state power in 1789 provides a key to the understanding the events of the time, and to how actors tried to make sense of them. Steuart made another crucial observation about the deep effect of what he called “the modern economy” upon the power of the governments of Europe: even an absolute monarch could not damage public credit without destroying his own sovereignty.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Sir James Steuart: The Political Economy of Money and Trade
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-707-7

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Public Finance in the History of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-699-5

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Charles H. Cho, Tiphaine Jérôme and Jonathan Maurice

This paper highlights the emergency budgetary measures taken by the French government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis and identifies some of the key…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper highlights the emergency budgetary measures taken by the French government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis and identifies some of the key political, economic, social and environmental factors and consequences associated with those measures.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conduct a thorough analysis of official reports, bills and academic and news articles related to the pandemic management in France. The authors’ analysis covers the period from January 24 to July 31, 2020.

Findings

Despite previous austerity policies, France faced the health crisis with a very high level of debt, which has complicated the management of the COVID-19 crisis. Although significant, the response brought by the French government seems in the end to be rather choppy.

Originality/value

This paper highlights three elements of analysis that allow a better understanding of the budgetary management process in France. The authors first discuss the notion of budgetary flexibility. Then, they show that the growth of participatory budgets in local communities gives hope for a possible and much needed decentralization process implying a stronger commitment of citizens. Finally, they highlight a budgetary paradox; that is, massive funding of polluting industries versus ecological issues. These three elements of analysis all advocate the need for a deeper engagement among different levels of government and actors.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Delfina Gomes, Garry D. Carnegie and Lúcia Lima Rodrigues

The purpose of this paper is to look at the adoption of double entry bookkeeping at the Royal Treasury, Portugal, on its establishment in 1761 and the factors contributing…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at the adoption of double entry bookkeeping at the Royal Treasury, Portugal, on its establishment in 1761 and the factors contributing to this development. The Royal Treasury was the first central government organization in Portugal to adopt double entry bookkeeping and was a crucial first step in the institutionalisation of the technique in Portuguese public administration.

Design/methodology/approach

Set firmly in the archive, this paper adopts new institutional sociology (NIS) to inform the findings of the local, time‐specific accounting policy and practice at the Portuguese Royal Treasury.

Findings

Embedded within the broader European context, this study identifies the key pressures exerted upon the Royal Treasury on its formation in 1761, which resulted in major accounting change within Portuguese central government from that date. The study provides further evidence of the importance of the state in the institutionalization of accounting practices by means of coercive pressures and highlights for Portugal the importance of individual actors who, as powerful change agents, made key decisions that influenced accounting change.

Originality/value

This study examines a major instance of accounting change in European central government and broadens the application of NIS in accounting history research to a different country – Portugal – and to a different time – the eighteenth century. It also serves to illuminate the difficulties of collecting pertinent evidence pertaining to this long‐dated time period in identifying certain forms of institutional pressures.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2020

Tobias Polzer and Christoph Reichard

The European Commission is pursuing an initiative to establish European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) as a common mandatory set of rules for financial…

Abstract

Purpose

The European Commission is pursuing an initiative to establish European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) as a common mandatory set of rules for financial reporting of all member states of the European Union (EU). As a basis for developing EPSAS, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) are being used. The purpose of this paper is to structure and analyze the discussion around EPSAS, with particular emphasis on the arguments that were brought forward by governments and other stakeholders of various EU countries regarding the suitability of IPSAS.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on several schools of thought in new institutional theory, how the prevailing institutional contexts in countries influence the debates is explored. Empirically, this research investigates the responses to a consultation on the suitability of IPSAS for EU member states and takes a closer look, via document analysis, at France and Germany as two critical cases.

Findings

It is found that, first, the majority of arguments from respondents are framed in a rational choice way. Second, skeptics of IPSAS tend to make arguments rather from positions closer to historical and/or sociological institutionalism.

Research limitations/implications

The paper illustrates that while technical matters around EPSAS seem solvable, political, historical and cultural differences go deeper, and need to be addressed by change agents. Regarding limitations of the research, first, the analysis concentrates on financial reporting and does not deal with the implications for more reliable and comparable national accounts in the context of the European System of Accounts (ESA, 2010). Second, it is focused on debates in the context of the EPSAS proposal, and there is a need for an evaluation after the changes have gone live.

Originality/value

The study looks at a text genre that has so far received less attention in public sector accounting research: responses to consultations. The paper contributes to the literature by showing how institutional contexts matter in settings characterized by contestation of reform contents.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 11 August 2020

It was expected that the reshuffle would reflect a policy pivot towards social and environmental priorities in the wake of COVID-19 and as a response to the outcome of…

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DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB254501

ISSN: 2633-304X

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2016

Ian Mann, Warwick Funnell and Robert Jupe

The purpose of this paper is to contest Edwards et al.’s (2002) findings that resistance to the introduction of double-entry bookkeeping and the form that it took when…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contest Edwards et al.’s (2002) findings that resistance to the introduction of double-entry bookkeeping and the form that it took when implemented by the British Government in the mid-nineteenth century was the result of ideological conflict between the privileged landed aristocracy and the rising merchant middle class.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws upon a collection of documents preserved as part of the Grigg Family Papers located in London and the Thomson Papers held in the Mitchell Library in Sydney. It also draws on evidence contained within the British National Archive, the National Maritime Museum and British Parliamentary Papers which has been overlooked by previous studies of the introduction of DEB.

Findings

Conflict and delays in the adoption of double-entry bookkeeping were not primarily the product of “ideological” differences between the influential classes. Instead, this study finds that conflict was the result of a complex amalgam of class interests, ideology, personal antipathy, professional intolerance and ambition. Newly discovered evidence recognises the critical, largely forgotten, work of John Deas Thomson in developing a double-entry bookkeeping system for the Royal Navy and the importance of Sir James Graham’s determination that matters of economy would be emphasised in the Navy’s accounting.

Originality/value

This study establishes that crucial to the ultimate implementation of double-entry bookkeeping was the passionate, determined support of influential champions with strong liberal beliefs, most especially John Deas Thomson and Sir James Graham. Prominence was given to economy in government.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1998

Glyn Davies and Roy Davies

This is the first part of a detailed annotated chronology of significant events in the history of money in the context of social, economic, political and technological…

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Abstract

This is the first part of a detailed annotated chronology of significant events in the history of money in the context of social, economic, political and technological developments from the dawn of civilization until the closing years of the twentieth century. Starting with the origins of money and of banking the chronology moves on to the development of coinage in Asia Minor and its extension by the conquests of Alexander and later Rome before proceeding to the start of the long history of the pound sterling. The origins of paper money in China, the re‐emergence of banking in Europe, the financial effects of various wars and conflicts and the age of exploration, and subsequent developments up to the threshold of the industrial revolution are all covered.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-252X

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 19 May 2020

French pension reforms.

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB252700

ISSN: 2633-304X

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