From Neoliberalism to No Liberalism?

With the deepening financial crisis undermining the credibility of free-market ideas and policies, US and European elites will need to reformulate the liberal project. Unless they do, the emphasis on economic and political freedom that lies at the heart of liberalism may not survive.

WASHINGTON, DC – The era of free-market capitalism launched in the 1980’s by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan – often called “neoliberalism” by its opponents – is over. This ideological wave has crashed with the ongoing financial market crisis, but its decline was a long time coming. In the last few years, while American leaders continued to ride the neoliberal wave, much of the rest of the world was already standing on the shore.

Disenchantment with “neoliberal,” pro-market ideas began in developing countries that had once been their ardent admirers. Latin American countries that embraced free-market policies in the 1990’s rejected them in the mid-2000’s, as a new wave of left-leaning leaders came to power. Russia, which adopted market-oriented reforms in the 1990’s, moved to a managed form of state capitalism in the 2000’s with “oligarchs” forced to submit to state control.

As a result, the United States, the European Commission, and the multilateral development banks have become increasingly isolated in their efforts to advance free-market thought and policies worldwide. The deepening financial crisis weakens their position further. After all, how can the US or the Western multilateral institutions advocate bank privatization now?

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/rHtcm4P;
  1. Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

    The Brexit Surrender

    European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have given the go-ahead to talks with Britain on post-Brexit trade relations. But, as European Council President Donald Tusk has said, the most difficult challenge – forging a workable deal that secures broad political support on both sides – still lies ahead.

  2. The Great US Tax Debate

    ROBERT J. BARRO vs. JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS on the impact of the GOP tax  overhaul.


    • Congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax-reform package that will reshape the business environment by lowering the corporate-tax rate and overhauling deductions. 

    • But will the plan's far-reaching changes provide the boost to investment and growth that its backers promise?


    ROBERT J. BARRO | How US Corporate Tax Reform Will Boost Growth

    JASON FURMAN & LAWRENCE H. SUMMERS | Robert Barro's Tax Reform Advocacy: A Response

  3. Murdoch's Last Stand?

    Rupert Murdoch’s sale of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets to Disney for $66 billion may mark the end of the media mogul’s career, which will long be remembered for its corrosive effect on democratic discourse on both sides of the Atlantic. 

    From enabling the rise of Donald Trump to hacking the telephone of a murdered British schoolgirl, Murdoch’s media empire has staked its success on stoking populist rage.

  4. Bank of England Leon Neal/Getty Images

    The Dangerous Delusion of Price Stability

    Since the hyperinflation of the 1970s, which central banks were right to combat by whatever means necessary, maintaining positive but low inflation has become a monetary-policy obsession. But, because the world economy has changed dramatically since then, central bankers have started to miss the monetary-policy forest for the trees.

  5. Harvard’s Jeffrey Frankel Measures the GOP’s Tax Plan

    Jeffrey Frankel, a professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a former member of President Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, outlines the five criteria he uses to judge the efficacy of tax reform efforts. And in his view, the US Republicans’ most recent offering fails miserably.

  6. A box containing viles of human embryonic Stem Cell cultures Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

    The Holy Grail of Genetic Engineering

    CRISPR-Cas – a gene-editing technique that is far more precise and efficient than any that has come before it – is poised to change the world. But ensuring that those changes are positive – helping to fight tumors and mosquito-borne illnesses, for example – will require scientists to apply the utmost caution.

  7. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now