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From Malaise to Meltdown

The International Origins of Financial Folly, 1844–

Lee explains how global competition has driven policymakers toward lax regulation throughout history, leading to severe financial crises.

Author Information


Michael Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Hunter College.


William R. Thompson, Rogers Professor Emeritus, Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington:

"In From Malaise to Meltdown, Michael Lee demonstrates that regulation and de-regulation are subject to political rhythms in the world system’s lead economy. When the lead economy’s position is externally challenged, domestic de-regulation becomes politically more probable, and so too does risky economic behaviour. To explain American domestic economic crises, then, we must first decipher the historical vicissitudes of international political economy. Lee’s book does just that."

Guillermo Rosas, Department of Political Science, Washington University, St Louis:

"From Malaise to Meltdown is on par with some of the best works written on the politics of financial regulation. It offers a distinct contribution to extremely important debates in the politics of finance and does so in an accessible way, well suited to readers interested in learning about financial instability and why it has become such a ubiquitous element in the global financial order."

Thomas Oatley, Corasaniti-Zondorak Chair of International Relations, Tulane University:

"An excellent piece of scholarship, From Malaise to Meltdown places the 2008 crisis in a broader historical context to consider whether it was a symptom of America’s hegemonic decline. It is one of the very best works on the post-global financial crisis and a must-read for anyone interested in the relationship between great power politics and international finance."

Sarah Bauerle Danzman, Department of Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington:

"In this book, Michael Lee systematically invokes the long history of banking regulation and crisis to argue that global financial regulatory cycles are rooted in struggles for geopolitical dominance. From Malaise to Meltdown will be essential reading for scholars of global financial networks and political orders alike."

Kevin L. Young, Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst:

"From Malaise to Meltdown is a truly impressive piece of scholarship – impeccably researched, carefully reasoned, and containing a wealth of innovative material representing the best of new scholarship in this area. Michael Lee’s ambitious analysis is one all scholars will need to pay close attention to."

Audience: College/higher education;Professional and scholarly;