John Maynard Keynes once observed that the "ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood." The contributors to this volume take that assertion seriously. In a full-scale study of the impact of Keynesian doctrines across nations, their essays trace the reception accorded Keynesian ideas, initially during the 1930s and then in the years after World War II, in a wide range of nations, including Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Scandinavia. The contributors review the latest historical evidence to explain why some nations embraced Keynesian policies while others did not. At a time of growing interest in comparative public policy-making, they examine the central issue of how and why particular ideas acquire influence over policy and politics. Based on three years of collaborative research for the Social Science Research Council, the volume takes up central themes in contemporary economics, political science, and history. The contributors are Christopher S. Allen, Marcello de Cecco, Peter Alexis Gourevitch, Eleanor M. Hadley, Peter A. Hall, Albert O. Hirschman, Harold James, Bradford A. Lee, Jukka Pekkarinen, Pierre Rosanvallon, Walter S. Salant, Margaret Weir, and Donald Winch.
Capitalism and Political Power presents the author’s research spanning economics, law and politics. Its central idea is that governments need two components to consolidate their position: legitimation and economic power. Legitimation is conferred by popular support, and economic power is based on natural, temporary possession of capital. This concept draws on Nouriel Roubini and Jeffrey Sachs’ seminal research and on George Tsebelis’ political theory, looking at political systems as structures formed by separate political agents - “veto players„. Substantial evidence is provided that the more complex the political system is, the more capital it holds, and that the government has only a relative impact on redistribution of capital, decreasing ever since the mid-1980s, as political systems began to move towards simplification and standardization. Krzysztof Waśniewski (b. 1968), Doctor of Economics, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Management of the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Cracow University in Cracow, Poland. His interests, which earlier focused on corporate strategies, now also include institutional economics and other social disciplines such as law, political sciences and sociology.
In The Political Power of Bad Ideas, Mark Schrad uses one of the greatest oddities of modern history--the broad diffusion throughout the Western world of alcohol-control legislation in the early twentieth century--to make a powerful argument about how bad policy ideas achieve international success. His could an idea that was widely recognized by experts as bad before adoption, and which ultimately failed everywhere, come to be adopted throughout the world? To answer the question, Schrad utilizes an institutionalist approach and focuses in particular on the United States, Sweden, and Russia/the USSR. Conventional wisdom, based largely on the U.S. experience, blames evangelical zealots for the success of the temperance movement. Yet as Schrad shows, ten countries, along with numerous colonial possessions, enacted prohibition laws. In virtually every case, the consequences were disastrous, and in every country the law was ultimately repealed. Schrad concentrates on the dynamic interaction of ideas and political institutions, tracing the process through which concepts of dubious merit gain momentum and achieve credibility as they wend their way through institutional structures. He also shows that national policy and institutional environments count: the policy may have been broadly adopted, but countries dealt with the issue in different ways. While The Political Power of Bad Ideas focuses on one legendary episode, its argument about how and why bad policies achieve legitimacy applies far more broadly. It also extends beyond the simplistic notion that "ideas matter" to show how they influence institutional contexts and interact with a nation's political actors, institutions, and policy dynamics.
This book explores the IMF's role within the politics of austerity by providing a path-breaking comprehensive analysis of how the IMF approach to fiscal policy has evolved since 2008, and how the IMF worked to alter advanced economy policy responses to the global financial crisis (GFC) and the Eurozone crisis. It updates and refines our understanding of how the IMF seeks to wield ideational power by analysing the Fund's post-crash their ability to influence what constitutes legitimate knowledge, and their ability fix meanings attached to economic policies within the social process of constructing economic orthodoxy.This book is interested in the politics of economic ideas, focused on the assumptive foundations of different approaches to economic policy, and how the interpretive framework through which authoritative voices evaluate economic policy is an important site of power in world politics. After establishing the internal conditions of possibility for new fiscal policy thinking to emerge and prevail, detailed case studies of IMF interactions with the UK and French governments during the Great Recession drill down into how Fund seeks to shape the policy possibilities of advanced economy policy-makers and account for the scope and limits of Fund influence. The Fund's reputation as a technocratic, scientific source of economic policy wisdom is important to for its intellectual authority. Yet, as this book demonstrates, the Fund makes normatively driven interventions in ideologically charged economic policy debates. The analysis reveals the malleability of conventional wisdoms about economic policy, and the processes of their social construction.
Over the past century, the rise and fall of economic policy orders has been shaped by a paradox, as intellectual and institutional stability have repeatedly caused market instability and crisis. To highlight such dynamics, this volume offers a theory of economic ideas in political time. The author counters paradigmatic and institutionalist views of ideas as enabling self-reinforcing path dependencies, offering an alternative social psychological argument that ideas which initially reduce uncertainty can subsequently fuel misplaced certainty and crises. Historically, the book then traces the development and decline of the progressive, Keynesian, and neoliberal orders, arguing that each order's principled foundations were gradually displaced by macroeconomic models that obscured new causes of the Great Depression, Great Stagflation, and Global Financial Crisis. Finally, in policy terms, Widmaier stresses the costs of intellectual autonomy, as efforts to 'prevent the last crisis' have repeatedly obscured new causes of crises.
This highly illuminating book marks a significant stage in our growing understanding of how the development of national traditions of economic thought has been affected by both internal and external factors. The expert contributors set an explicit agenda for the study of the dissemination of economic ideas across four centuries, acknowledging that the history of dissemination is also a history of the flux of economic beliefs, rendering any generalisation difficult, if not impossible. Topics explored include systems of political economy, European and American interactions, the diffusion of economic ideas in South-Eastern Europe and beyond, and the exchange of ideas between Japan and the rest of the world. This book will prove a fascinating and stimulating read for scholars and researchers in the field of economics generally, and more specifically in heterodox economics, the history of economic thought and economic theory.
How are the economic policies which developing countries adopt selected and how do they change? Who are the key players in economic development policies? Professor Anil Hira answers these questions head on by suggesting new ways of looking at how ideas affect economic policy. Through concrete case studies of networks in Latin America, he analyzes how ideas are introduced and why certain ones "win out" in the economic policy process. The cohort groups who create economic policies are the key figures in this book. These characters are shown to extend beyond Latin America to countries as diverse as Indonesia and Egypt.
Why are some societies more successful than others at promoting individual and collective well-being? This book integrates recent research in social epidemiology with broader perspectives in social science to explore why some societies are more successful than others at securing population health. It explores the social roots of health inequalities, arguing that inequalities in health are based not only on economic inequalities, but on the structure of social relations. It develops sophisticated perspectives on social relations, which emphasize the ways in which cultural frameworks as well as institutions condition people's health. It reports on research into health inequalities in the developed and developing worlds, covering a wide range of national case studies, and into the ways in which social relations condition the effectiveness of public policies aimed at improving health.
If the plans concerning EMU will be realised, by 2002 national currencies will be replaced by the Euro and national central banks will be partially replaced by the European Central Bank. The Politics of Economic and Monetary Union starts with the argument that EMU is more a political than an economic project. It develops this theme by addressing five different questions. First, precisely what is the general role of EMU in the globalising political economy? Second, how EMU will change the power relations and the relationship between `political' and `economic'? Third, what effects will EMU have on generally accepted values - including for example efficiency, self-determination, and democracy? Fourth, how does the EMU-related politics of symbols - including money - take part in constructing political identities? And last, but certainly not least, what effects EMU will have on the social and political dimension of the Union and thus also on its legitimacy? The politics of EMU includes many dimensions. The book tries to explain the hegemony of the neoliberal and German vision of Europe in the context of recent development in the global political economy. It assesses the consequences of this hegemony and the possibility for alternatives from a variety of perspectives. In many chapters, it is also argued that the legitimation problems of the Union may turn into an acute crisis also because of EMU. We should expect an actualised crisis to lead to a transformation of the Union.