The profound hegemony of neoliberalism: economic theory, public policy and capitalist accumulation

As the Library of Canada archives do not seem to be well indexed by google I am putting up a link to my doctoral dissertation which I defended in 2012 and was published in 2013.  A link to a PDF of the dissertation can be found here, and the full citation information can be found here.  You can also download the document here: Profound Hegemony of Neoliberalism.


A b s t r a c t
The central thesis of this dissertation is that neoliberalism is an accumulation strategy, an ideology and a public policy paradigm that is about diminishing the collective capacity of workers to negotiate credibly over the distribution of the surplus at either the level of the enterprise (through unions for example) or through more ambitious collective action at the level of macroeconomic policy (via a democratically determined industrial policy). I employ a critical realist methodology to investigate the different facets in the development of neoliberalism’s hegemony. Inter alia, I argued that neoliberalism, as an ideology and policy paradigm, is better understood as an amalgam of intellectual currents taken not only from within neoclassical political economy but also from what I have referred to here as neo-Weberian political economy. The hegemony of neoliberalism is illustrated, on the one hand, by the capitulation of new Keynesians to the supply side logic embedded in new classical micro economics and, on the other, by the neo-Weberian incorporation of the neoclassical firm into the heart of its comparative enterprise. In the last section a quantitative description of neoliberalism across a broad range of metrics is undertaken. The central message to emerge is that while neoliberalism, as an accumulation strategy, has been more or less successful in rising and maintaining profit rates and price stability, it has not been successful in terms of other macro-economic indicators. In particular, there has been an increase in employment insecurity, precariousness and market based income inequality. Further, in the Anglo American countries, while neoliberalism has been successful in restoring profit rates in manufacturing, these self same policies have not been successful in arresting the overall decline of manufacturing. Lastly, and perhaps most devastatingly for the protagonists of neoliberalism, these policies have not been successful in restoring GDP per capita growth of unemployment rates to their Golden Age levels . And even if those levels were exceptional, they were held out as the ultimate goal o f early neoliberal innovation and restructuring.



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