Three Essays In Mobilization Theory
This dissertation explores the phenomenon of society-wide mobilization, the response to a major national emergency in which the stakes feel existential and the policy choices often push the bounds of what was previously conceivable within the political discourse. The prototypical examples of this are major wars, such as World War II, but there’s no inherent reason these situations must be limited to combat; indeed the broad purpose of this study is to inform the policy response to other pressing social emergencies such as pandemics and climate change. The first essay is a literature review, painting the broad picture of the bounds of mobilization theory, by drawing on, updating, and synthesizing neglected literature in “mobilization economics,” as well as some modern contributions to the analogy between WWII and climate change. The second essay is a qualitative historical study, looking through archival records from the United States Treasury during World War II, to piece together the economic worldview held by these administrators. The third essay considers a specific theoretical issue of how saving policies (policies intended to channel household income into saving rather than consumption, to prevent inflation) interact with the management of the national debt and future fiscal and monetary policy. Through these interventions, this dissertation asserts that mobilization is relevant again for addressing the challenges of our time, and ripe for interdisciplinary study.
Table of Contents
The return of mobilization theory -- Modern money and the war treasury -- National debt in mobilization and peace
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)