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Keating

25th anniversary of Michael Pusey’s Economic Rationalism in Canberra

2016 marked the 25th anniversary of Michael Pusey’s seminal text of economic sociology, Economic Rationalism in Canberra. As a detailed analysis of top bureaucrats in Canberra who had adopted free market ideas and the transformation of public policymaking, Pusey’s book helped instigate a national conversation and publicised the concept of ‘economic rationalism’. It was ranked […]

Hawke sword

Living The Dream under The Accord (podcast)

Last week I was interviewed on the wonderful ‘Living the Dream’ podcast. We discussed the Accord, neoliberalism and the ALP Hawke-Keating government. Our focus was on recent articles by Van Badham and Wayne Swan in The Guardian, and how the ALP and unions are attempting to understand and frame the experience of the Hawke-Keating government today. I discuss […]

Free Trade Wharf 1972 by Gerd Winner born 1936

Is the term neoliberalism useful?

  Originally published at PPE. There is an emerging body of literature questioning the usefulness of the term ‘neoliberalism’. This work has highlighted the tendency for new analysis to simply add another yet more precise definition of neoliberalism in an effort — as Rajesh Venugopalsays — ‘to refine, complicate and extend old concepts, or to […]

Whitlam

Why didn’t neoliberalism start during the Fraser Government

Many people associate the beginning of neoliberalism with the election of conservative governments influenced by the New Right and theorists such as Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. A useful question to ask, then, is why didn’t the vanguard neoliberal period commence during Australia’s conservative Liberal government (1975-1983) led by Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser? One explanation […]

Hawke and Keating

Neoliberalism and the Accord: 3CR podcast

The 14th Biennial National Labour History Conference, ‘Fighting Against War: Peace Activism in the Twentieth Century’ was held at Queen’s College, University of Melbourne, 11-13 February 2015. My paper on ‘The Accord after Thirty Years: Corporatism in the Neoliberal Era‘ was recorded by the Solidarity Breakfast program on 3CR, who featured excerpts from it as a part […]

Brand

Anti-politics and the illusions of neoliberalism

We live in anti-political times. After a twentieth century in which Western societies experienced the rise and entrenchment of mass representative institutions, where hundreds of millions of people accepted that politics was the main way to have their social interests advanced, these arrangements have ever more obviously fallen into disrepair, decay and even frank breakdown. […]

FILE: Baroness Thatcher Dies Aged 87 - Thatcher On The World Stage

Klein’s ‘shock doctrine’ thesis & the Whitlam dismissal

Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine (2007) is one of the most widely read critical accounts of neoliberalism. Klein argues that governments have used ‘disasters’ of various kinds to implement neoliberal policies. Transformation occurs through ‘eventful temporality’, where moments of ‘coups, crisis, and shocks…usher in neoliberal policies’ transforming ‘existing modes of public administration and resource allocation’ […]

under the carpet

Neoliberalism’s Dominant Narrative

Use of the term ‘neoliberalism’ is widespread in the social sciences. While debates have raged since the 2008 economic crisis as to whether neoliberalism persists or has faltered, many argue it remains ‘the mode of existence of contemporary capitalism’ (Saad-Filho 2010, 242). Use of the term has, however, often obscured its meaning. For example, many […]