The Power of Ideas in Capitalism Transformations and the Democratic Backlash

On Friday, November 12, I gave an online talk entitled  “The Power of Ideas in Capitalism Transformations and the Democratic Backlash.” My talk was based on a paper to be published in the journal Stato e Mercato for the 40th anniversary of the journal.  My main focus was on how to explain the resilience of neo-liberal ideas since the 1980s, its impact on democratic capitalism, and whether it would remain the paradigm in the future.  I began with theorizing about the nature of the resilience and power of neo-liberal ideas and discourse.  I next explored the powerful role of resilient neo-liberal ideas and discourse in the neo-liberal transformations the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s, and during the Eurozone crisis.  I then considered what neoliberalism wrought in terms of the deep changes in capitalist structures, institutions, and policies brought about by the neo-liberal project.  I followed with the rise of alternatives ideas, first with the populist democratic backlash to the impact of neo-liberal transformations, then with the Covid-19 crisis response that has seemed to put a pause to neoliberalism, with a shift to sustainable and equitable growth.  I concluded with an analysis of neoliberalism’s seeming decline in resilience at the moment.

Annual Seminar SeM 2021

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