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Great Transformations: Economic Ideas and Institutional Change in the Twentieth Century

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... Hall beschreibt einen Lernprozess aufseiten politischer Akteure, der zu einer Verschiebung auf der ideellen Ebene und schließlich zu einem grundlegenden Wandel des wirtschaftspolitischen Deutungssystems führte -einem Paradigmenwechsel, wie Hall es in Anlehnung an Thomas 22 Siehe z. B. Béland und Cox (2011a), Berman (2013), Blyth (2002), Campbell (2002), Cox (2001), Hall (1993a), North (2005) oder Schmidt (2008). Die Frage nach dem Zusammenhang von Ideen und Institutionen ist im Übrigen keineswegs neu, wie ein Aufsatz von Karl Loewenstein mit dem Titel "Über das Verhältnis von politischen Ideologien und politischen Institutionen" aus dem Jahr (1955) zeigt. ...
... Die Definition eines kollektiven Interesses impliziert somit einen kollektiven Handlungszusammenhang und damit das Beitragshandeln von Individuen, das auf der Basis eines konstruktivistischen Begriffs von Interesse nicht erklärt werden kann. Besonders deutlich wird dies by Mark Blyth (2002), der feststellt, dass Ideen nicht nur konstitutiv für kollektive Handlungsziele sind, sondern für die Akteure selbst, was in einen Widerspruch führt. Er schreibt nämlich, dass "collective agents can only be identified -and indeed can only be constituted by -the conditions faced by agents and, crucially, by the interpretations of those conditions held by such agents" (S. 14). ...
... Siehe z. B.Berman (2013), Blyth (2002,Goldstein und Keohane (1993),,Schmidt (2008), oderWeiland (2007).4 Siehe z. ...
... Hall beschreibt einen Lernprozess aufseiten politischer Akteure, der zu einer Verschiebung auf der ideellen Ebene und schließlich zu einem grundlegenden Wandel des wirtschaftspolitischen Deutungssystems führte -einem Paradigmenwechsel, wie Hall es in Anlehnung an Thomas 22 Siehe z. B. Béland und Cox (2011a), Berman (2013), Blyth (2002), Campbell (2002), Cox (2001), Hall (1993a), North (2005) oder Schmidt (2008). Die Frage nach dem Zusammenhang von Ideen und Institutionen ist im Übrigen keineswegs neu, wie ein Aufsatz von Karl Loewenstein mit dem Titel "Über das Verhältnis von politischen Ideologien und politischen Institutionen" aus dem Jahr (1955) zeigt. ...
... Die Definition eines kollektiven Interesses impliziert somit einen kollektiven Handlungszusammenhang und damit das Beitragshandeln von Individuen, das auf der Basis eines konstruktivistischen Begriffs von Interesse nicht erklärt werden kann. Besonders deutlich wird dies by Mark Blyth (2002), der feststellt, dass Ideen nicht nur konstitutiv für kollektive Handlungsziele sind, sondern für die Akteure selbst, was in einen Widerspruch führt. Er schreibt nämlich, dass "collective agents can only be identified -and indeed can only be constituted by -the conditions faced by agents and, crucially, by the interpretations of those conditions held by such agents" (S. 14). ...
... Siehe z. B.Berman (2013), Blyth (2002,Goldstein und Keohane (1993),,Schmidt (2008), oderWeiland (2007).4 Siehe z. ...
... Hall beschreibt einen Lernprozess aufseiten politischer Akteure, der zu einer Verschiebung auf der ideellen Ebene und schließlich zu einem grundlegenden Wandel des wirtschaftspolitischen Deutungssystems führte -einem Paradigmenwechsel, wie Hall es in Anlehnung an Thomas 22 Siehe z. B. Béland und Cox (2011a), Berman (2013), Blyth (2002), Campbell (2002), Cox (2001), Hall (1993a), North (2005) oder Schmidt (2008). Die Frage nach dem Zusammenhang von Ideen und Institutionen ist im Übrigen keineswegs neu, wie ein Aufsatz von Karl Loewenstein mit dem Titel "Über das Verhältnis von politischen Ideologien und politischen Institutionen" aus dem Jahr (1955) zeigt. ...
... Die Definition eines kollektiven Interesses impliziert somit einen kollektiven Handlungszusammenhang und damit das Beitragshandeln von Individuen, das auf der Basis eines konstruktivistischen Begriffs von Interesse nicht erklärt werden kann. Besonders deutlich wird dies by Mark Blyth (2002), der feststellt, dass Ideen nicht nur konstitutiv für kollektive Handlungsziele sind, sondern für die Akteure selbst, was in einen Widerspruch führt. Er schreibt nämlich, dass "collective agents can only be identified -and indeed can only be constituted by -the conditions faced by agents and, crucially, by the interpretations of those conditions held by such agents" (S. 14). ...
... Siehe z. B.Berman (2013), Blyth (2002,Goldstein und Keohane (1993),,Schmidt (2008), oderWeiland (2007).4 Siehe z. ...
... Since the 1990s Nordic societies have undergone major transformations that have affected the foundations of the Nordic welfare model (cf. Blyth 2002;Kantola 2002;Hvinden and Johansson 2007;Kettunen 2008;Petersen and Kettunen 2011;Kananen 2014). One aspect of these complex transformations may serve as an example of the changed relationship between the individual and society. ...
... New ideas gained a foothold in Danish politics along with welfare state restructuring -ideas that were in many ways contradictory to previous aims associated with Nordic welfare policy. The new ideas were part of a new international consensus on the relationship between states and markets that has been scrutinized by a number of scholars, such as Mark Blyth (2002), Kathleen R. McNamara (1998), Bob Jessop (2002), and Pauli Kettunen (2008). As there is no commonly accepted label for this consensus, it can be termed the 'international competition state paradigm' here. ...
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The 'open society' has become a watchword of liberal democracy and the market system in the modern globalized world. Openness stands for individual opportunity and collective reason, as well as bottom-up empower-ment and top-down transparency. It has become a cherished value, despite its vagueness and the connotation of vulnerability that surrounds it. Scandinavia has long considered itself a model of openness, citing traditions of freedom of information and inclusive policy making. This collection of essays traces the conceptual origins, development, and diverse challenges of openness in the Nordic countries and Austria. It examines some of the many paradoxes that openness encounters and the tensions it arouses when it addresses such divergent ends as democratic deliberation and market transactions, freedom of speech and sensitive information, compliant decision making and political and administrative transparency, and consensual procedures and the toleration of dissent.
... Relying on concepts from Polanyian political economy like double movement and embedded neoliberalism (Ban 2016;Bohle and Greskovits 2012;Blyth 2002), I argue that intermediate regimes emerge when expected or observed dislocations caused by capital mobility threaten the interests of strong social groups or the stability of political institutions. Especially in emerging and developing economies, this process leads policymakers to edit capital account liberalization, forging hybrid arrangements that keep financial integration alongside moderate or episodic capital controls. ...
... According to Blyth (2002), this theory was successful in predicting the emergence of profound institutional changes centered on the restriction of the scope of the market. However, as put forward by the same author, it would be a mistake to take the postwar regulation of capitalism as the last act of the double movement. ...
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Contrary to expectations, the global push for liberalizing reforms during the 1980s and 1990s did not abolish policy diversity in regard to capital flow management. Even though many countries fully opened their capital accounts, there remain several examples of divergence, which go from the maintenance of high levels of capital controls to partial liberalization. Against this background, relying on data from 84 countries between 1995 and 2017, this article uses fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to shed light on the conditions underlying different capital account regimes. In line with the Polanyian theoretical framework, findings reveal that two kinds of causal paths paved the way for intermediate regimes: the statist path was followed by right-leaning authoritarian regimes that attempted to combine the integration into global markets with the maintenance of control over the domestic private sector; the pluralist path was observed where either manufacturing industries or popular sectors were strong enough to motivate the reregulation of capital flows. Conversely, findings show that extreme regimes such as open and closed ones were associated with homogenous conditions like, respectively, leftist authoritarian regimes and rich democracies with stable economies.
... It seeks to complement materially oriented analyses which continue to provide important insights into this process of construction, as well as reproduction, of economic structures in general and international finance in particular (Helleiner, 1994;Cohen, 1996;Pauly, 1997;Germain, 1997;Strange, 1998;Kapstein, 1994;Gilpin, 2001;Sinclair, 1994;Lindblom, 1977;Underhill, 1997;Bienefeld, 1996;Gill, 1995;Porter, 1993;Birchfield, 1999). It draws on work which addresses the historical development of various systems of finance (Germain, 1997;Langley, 2002;Arrighi, 1994;Braudel, 1979) and builds on work which explores the importance of ideas, norms, and values in finance (Eichengreen, 1995;Cohen, 1998;McNamara 1998;Hall, P. 1989;Blyth, 2002;Best, 2005;Geske, 2000;de Goede, 2005;Leyshon and Thrift, 1997;Abdelal, 2007). In this process of reconstruction and reproduction, power relations constrain, shape, and facilitate the outcomes of political contestation and it is therefore necessary to develop a means of understanding power, not only visible and obvious conflict situations, but also the dynamics of power relations in hidden or latent conflict situations. ...
... The constructivist approach argues for recognition of the importance of normative ideas and values as important forces in the construction and reproduction of international finance. (Geske, 2000;de Goede, 2005;McNamara, 1998;Hall, P., 1989;Blyth, 2002). I build on this approach by exploring, not only the importance of liberal economic ideas, but also the power of demands for economic justice, social justice, and human rights to challenge liberal ideas. ...
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The rules and practices governing international finance are necessarily the product of political contestation and this research seeks to better understand this process. It draws on the work of Steven Lukes, Charles Lindblom, Karl Polanyi, Antonio Gramsci, John Ruggie, Margaret Keck, and Katherine Sikkink. This dissertation examines how the process of international/transnational contestation is changing. Two case studies, one on the transnational civil society based campaign for the cancellation of third world debt and the second on the role of the World Economic Forum in this contestation, are used to explore how non-state actors have mobilized to change the rules and practices governing international finance in general and debt cancellation in particular in the period ending with the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005. First, it argues that CSOs and NGOs redefined the global agenda with respect to finance and debt and produced a crisis in one elite discursive framework and a (partial) shift to another discursive framework which incorporated the demands of non-elite actors. Second, CSOs’ and NGOs’ activism and innovative political strategies changed the process of decision making to include alternative perspectives and actors. Third, this is part of a Polanyian double movement taking place at a transnational level in which the effects of international financial markets have produced a societal backlash. Finally, in the emerging context of transnational civil society based politics moral values and normative ideas - ideas about how the world should be - are a powerful force in shaping change, even with respect to such an opaque, highly technical and apparently empirically based system of rules and practices as those which govern international finance.
... Furthermore, actor-centred constructivist literature has sought to explain why convergence of thinking on so many EU policy issues has come about (Mc-Namara 1998Blyth 2002;Parsons 2002;Meyer & Strickman 2011;Clift & Woll 2012;Verdun & Zeitlin 2018;Zeitlin & Vanhercke 2018). The actor-centred constructivist perspective on EU policymaking has been identified as particularly useful for understanding both the complexity of policymaking and the issues surrounding legitimation (Saurugger 2013). ...
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Any exploration of the power dynamics that underly the Franco-German tandem can surely benefit from the insights that the creation of the Common Agriculture Policy provides. The purpose of this article is to ascertain which government achieved its objectives more fully during the negotiations between France and West Germany leading up to the creation of the CAP, and to determine how those greater successes might be explained. This is achieved by applying discourse analysis and utilising actor-centred constructivist theory for rationalisation. While not entirely unsuccessful in reaching some of its objectives, the West German government had to deal with conflicting interests between ministries, overly influential lobbying groups, and ineffective coordination. The French side in the negotiations benefitted from more focused leadership, pursuing shared common goals under a cohesive strategy, in which their use of discourses proved decisive.
... Welfare paradigms in motion "Boundedly rational" authorities, steering through complex and ambiguousand, at times, turbulent -environments, rely on "cognitive maps", "interpretive frames", "causal beliefs", "common understandings" or "worldviews" and "rules of thumb" in their policy-making endeavours (Simon 1957;Hall 1989;Hemerijck & Schludi 2000;Blyth 2002;Fleckenstein 2011). Once cognitive templates align with normative beliefs, they acquire paradigmatic significance, by transforming understandings into "taken for granted" mindsets, through which policy-makers make sense of inherently ambiguous policy environments (Béland & Cox 2010). ...
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The European welfare systems, established after the Second World War, have been under sustained attack since the late 1970s from the neoliberal drive towards a small state and from the market as the foremost instrument for the efficient allocation of scarce resources. After the 2008 financial crash, Europe’s high tax and generous benefits welfare states were, once again, blamed for economic stagnation and political immobilism. If anything, however, the long decade of the Great Recession proved that the welfare state remained a fundamental asset in hard times, stabilizing the economy, protecting households and individuals from poverty, reconciling gendered work and family life, while improving the skills and competences needed in Europe’s knowledge economy and ageing society. Finally, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has, unsuprisingly, brought back into the limelight the productive role of welfare systems in guaranteeing basic security, human capabilities, economic opportunities, and democratic freedoms. In this important contribution, Anton Hemerijck and Robin Huguenot-Noël examine the nature of European welfare provision and the untruths that surround it. They evaluate the impact of the austerity measures that followed the Great Recession, and consider its future design to better equip European societies to face social change, from global competition to accelerated demographic ageing, the digitalization of work and climate change.
... Certain alternative disciplines in economics, such as the Social Studies of Finance, have already been able to reap the benefits of such a perspective by studying the impact of a theory on its object (Muniesa and Callon 2013): certain financial models, for example, have only become true because they were used by traders (MacKenzie 2006). With respect to the financial liberalisation of the 1980s, several works have traced the influence of the Chicago School economics (Mirowski 2014;Blyth 2002;Chwieroth 2010). This scientific discourse is said to have provided world leaders with decisive arguments for, among other things, lowering barriers to capital movements or letting exchange rates float. ...
Article
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The emergence of modern stock exchanges — computerised, globalised and in competition — is rarely questioned by mainstream economics, which considers this evolution as the necessary result of the “technological shock” or of the competition between exchanges. Based on the Evolutionary Political Economy approach applied to the Belgian case, this article proposes to evaluate the role that competition played in the institutional convergence experienced by European stock exchanges in the late 1980s. It will first appear, at the end of the historical survey, that the argument of “international competition” played a major role in the debates around the “Belgian Big Bang”, but was in fact not based on any reliable support: no capital flight occurred and the documents attesting to the “Belgian delay” were erroneous. We will then develop alternative explanations for the liberalisation of European stock exchanges from the perspective of economic sociology. Certain social norms — the authority of expertise, technophobia-philia, nationalism — favoured this institutional shift, more than the foreign threat. This article thus affirms the interest of a study of economic evolutions that does justice to the heterogeneity of agents, to power (especially cognitive power) and to social norms.
... The transition to renewable energy involves deep changes in society at different levels. Most of these changes can be framed within institutional theory, according to which institutions set the pace and the direction of economic and political development (Blyth, 2002;North, 1990North, , 2005. In the following review we intend to emphasise some key points in the literature on renewable energy in terms of institutional theory. ...
Article
Despite the consensus that the transition to renewable energy is a process that encompasses institutional, regulatory, technical, political, social, and cultural aspects, such issues have rarely been addressed in a comprehensive way. This study explores the determinants of renewable energy production (REP), focusing on institutional and socio-technical aspects. We employ a panel vector autoregres-sive (PVAR) model to test dynamic relationships for the period 1990-2015 among several variables, as have emerged in the literature: REP, policy stringency, public awareness, lobbying, education, controlling for income and energy imports. Focus-ing indiscriminately on 18 European Union (EU) member states, the results show that environmental policy stringency does not influence REP, while income and education impact negatively. This evidence is counter-intuitive, and would be surprising if we did not consider the strong heterogeneity between countries. EU member states are engaging in energy transition at different speeds, depending on their individual starting point: this differs from country to country in terms of installed capacity and energy security. Moving from the recent European Green Deal, we divide the sample into two panels based on energy imports to account for different starting points: countries less active on the production side (that depends particularly on energy imports), and countries more active on the production side. Results for the first panel show that an increase in policy stringency would lead to a decrease in lobbying and an increase in REP. Policy efforts must be clearly established and consistently preserved to support REP, at least if there are increasing returns to exploit. Results for the second panel show that lobbying negatively affects the transition to REP, while an increase in public awareness will promote an increase in REP. Therefore, priority should be given to the 'social' aspect, and policymakers should increase efforts to reduce the proportion of energy generated from oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear fuel.
... Se argumenta que las relaciones sociales concretas -las redes sociales para Granovetterconstituyen un punto de observación crucial para entender la información, la confianza y las motivaciones de los actores, teniendo mayor incidencia que los arreglos institucionales y las autoridades organizacionales para determinar comportamientos deshonestos. La mayor importancia concedida a los actores, sus intereses e ideas permite también considerar la capacidad de agencia para eventualmente modificar las reglas, pero también para resignificarlas o eludirlas, entre otras acciones posibles, como ha sido planteado por diversos autores en torno a las nociones de emprendimiento institucional y hermenéutica institucional (Garud, Hardy y Maguire 2007;Blyth 2002;DiMaggio 1988). ...
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Este artículo analiza la tributación desde una perspectiva de sociología económica y fiscal. Se argumenta que del mismo modo como la sociología ha explicado la racionalidad de los agentes, la naturaleza de las transacciones económicas y el funcionamiento de los mercados examinando los fundamentos sociales, culturales y políticos de la economía, una línea específica de investigación permite hacer lo propio con los impuestos. Para esto, en base a una extensa revisión de literatura, se expone la perspectiva de la sociología económica y fiscal en tres temas centrales: las instituciones impositivas, el consentimiento y el cumplimiento tributario. En cada caso se discute cómo tales visiones complementan o desafían la mirada de la economía tributaria. Más ampliamente, se reflexiona sobre cómo estas miradas no solo pueden aportar a una comprensión más precisa de los impuestos en la vida real, sino también a conseguir sistemas tributarios más justos, que permitan enfrentar los enormes desafíos socioeconómicos que exhiben las sociedades contemporáneas. This article analyzes taxation from an economic and fiscal sociology perspective. It is argued that, just as sociology has explained the rationality of agents, the nature of economic transactions and the functioning of markets by examining the social, cultural and political foundations of the economy, a specific line of research allows to do the same with focus on taxes. For this purpose, based on an extensive literature review, the perspectives of economic and fiscal sociology are presented in three main issues: tax institutions, consent and tax compliance. In each case, I discuss how such views complement or challenge the views of tax economics. More broadly, it reflects on how these perspectives can contribute not only to a more accurate understanding of taxation in real life, but also to building fairer tax systems that allow to face the huge socioeconomic challenges of contemporary societies.
... A third approach focuses instead on the role of ideational institutions (Béland, 2005;Blyth, 2002;Hall, 1989;Jenson, 2009;Rothstein, 1998;Schmidt and Thatcher, 2013). The pioneer study by Heclo's (1974), which claimed that pension policy in Britain and Sweden had been shaped by civil servants 'puzzling' over problems, was among the first to identify the relevance of policy learning effects. ...
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This chapter provides an overview of different theoretical approaches used to investigate welfare state change with a particular emphasis on cross-national analysis of Western Europe and North America. It distinguishes four families of theories based on the nature of the factors they consider– macro-structures, institutions, actors, individual preferences and attitudes – and the way their influence is conceptualized – as either the environment, filters and interactions, engine or micro-foundations of welfare states. By analysing developments within each of these perspectives over time, the chapter shows that we have witnessed to both an increased heterogeneity in the ways welfare state change is conceptualized and measured, and a growing integration of theoretical perspectives. In sum, theoretical advancement in this field has occurred less through the falsification and rejection of existing theories than through a process of integration, layering, refinement, and contextualization whereby new theories have been used to complement and specify older ones and their field of applicability. This development has coincided with a shift away from grand theorizing about the state and social conflict to greater emphasis on middle-range theories providing explanation for well-delimited instances of change concerning particular economic forms, periods, sectors or types of reforms.
... 8. The relevant literature includes, most notably, Scharpf (1991), Blyth (2002) and Baccaro and Howell (2017). 9. See Pontusson (2017, 2022) on the effects of union membership on attitudes towards income inequality and redistribution. ...
... From this perspective, institutions reflect the successful mobilization of the bias of political actors; the triumph of particular interpretations of the policy-problems (Jasanoff 2005, Conca 2006). New ideas have the power to modify the nature of the problems that policy seeks to redress, as well as the means through which it may achieve these goals (Blyth 2002). 49 The institutions of environmental governance are thus always potentially vulnerable to new interpretations of the problems (Haas, Keohane et al. 1993), as well as to the emergence of new political priorities (Haas 1999). ...
Thesis
Despite the diversity of the contributions to the analysis of water resources and the myriad of water management experiences, transboundary groundwaters have only relatively recently entered the international political agenda. In line with research dedicated to understanding the challenges associated with the management of water resources and the creation of environmental regulatory frameworks, this dissertation examines the emergence of mechanisms for the management of transboundary groundwater resources. In doing so, it makes a seemingly straightforward inquiry. What are the factors that trigger the emergence and implementation of groundwater management mechanisms? Drawing from the review of the literature and the comparative analysis of three cases of transboundary groundwater management, this research finds that the recognition of groundwater problems is determined by the interplay of three factors: the uses of groundwater, the features of the hydrogeological resources, and the social valuation of the eco-system services provided by the resources. In addition, it suggests that groundwater problems are not sufficient to explain the nature of the mechanisms employed for the management of the resources. It argues that management mechanisms, which may be coordinated or unilateral, result from the configuration of both systemic and socio-institutional factors.
... We intend to introduce discursive psychology as a methodological tool to understand forms of policy discourse and demonstrate its promise in the study of policy crisis management. In the literature, crises are usually considered as 'path-shaping moments' of change (Hay, 2013), signifiers of change (Roitman, 2014), moments in which actors' perception of their self-interest becomes problematised (Blyth, 2002) or 'episodic breakdowns of familiar symbolic frameworks that legitimate the pre-existing socio-political order' (Boin et al., 2008: 3). In the context of critical moments in public policy, expertise is being debated, and the boundaries of epistemic authority are drawn (Eyal, 2019). ...
Article
Between 2005 and 2006, the Czech government imposed a forced administration on the General Health Insurance Fund (VZP) because of economic problems. This unprecedented step in Czech public policy resulted in a debate. The VZP is the largest insurance fund in the Czech Republic, and this case has been one of the most severe institutional crises in Czech health policy. Employing analysis of 38 television-hosted debates, we emphasise how the actors negotiated accountability, credibility and truth. This paper aims to identify the discursive and rhetorical resources used by the involved parties to manage what was at stake in the debate: to maintain their credibility and legitimacy and to manage factuality. We follow Collins and Evans’s (2002) approach to expertise and distinguish four types of expertise: contributory, interaction, institutionally recognised, and experience-based. These different kinds of expertise use other vehicles of corroboration and factual evaluation. We opt for a more nuanced approach to how involved actors argue and what rhetorical strategies are relevant in different contexts.
... First, ideas may take the form of "heuristics" that guide the interpretations and actions of individual policymakers. Second, they can be "strategic tools" used by coalitions to discursively shape meaning and as "weapons" (Blyth, 2002) in political struggles over what is to be done-ideas here can be used as a source of power alongside or in conjunction with institutional and coercive power to determine crisis responses (Carstensen & Schmidt, 2016). Finally, ideas may be embedded as broader "institutional frameworks" or paradigms that govern policy-making writ large in certain domains. ...
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The study of ideas and crisis in public policy and administration has generated two literatures with shared interests, but often distinct approaches. In this Symposium introduction, we argue that crisis studies and the ‘ideas school’ have much to learn from each other. To facilitate cross‐pollination, this article reviews key insights from the two literatures with relevance across the divide. In our view, crisis studies offer important parameters that can help realise some of the ambitions expressed in the ideas school, such as how different crises and crisis stages affect opportunities for institutional and policy change. Similarly, ideational studies show new ways for crisis scholars to approach coherence in coordination among crisis actors, network information, and public communication. We conclude by assessing the contribution of the three Symposium papers to drawing new links between the fields and suggest future avenues for research. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... However, the neoliberal revolution of the 1980s and the 1990s brought the double movement back into contemporary politics. In hindsight, the post-war social compromise resembles a temporary armistice in the ongoing conflict between pro-market and anti-market forces (Blyth, 2002). As Mark Blyth put it, 'the political struggle between disembedding and reembedding the market continues today, even though its contours have shifted ' (2002, p. 4). ...
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This article seeks to explain the causes of the growing popularity of the illiberal right, taking the Polish political party Law and Justice as an example. The adopted analytical approach combines insights derived from the work of Karl Polanyi and the tradition of historical institutionalism. The victory of Law and Justice in the 2015 Polish parliamentary elections is argued to constitute a critical juncture that initiated a fundamental break with the liberal order. Following Polanyi, we argue that the seeds of the recent anti-liberal counter-revolution can be found in the malfunctioning of the Polish economic order built during the period of transition. However, Law and Justice has managed to make use of the critical juncture arising from social discontent and has used it instrumentally to dismantle liberal constitutionalism and the rule of law.
... The profound and destabilising impact of economic crises means they can potentially instigate 'critical junctures', or path-shaping moments of political re-orientation, depending on the ways in which the causes and complex events constituting the crisis become understood (Blyth, 2002;Hay 2011). This is precisely why the act of defining a crisis-and indeed narrating particular economic circumstances as a crisis-is a highly political act. ...
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This paper explores the local impact of various forms of fiscal and monetary support for UK-based companies in the context of disruption caused by COVID-19 and associated public health restrictions, including support for household incomes (and therefore private consumption) via the ‘furlough’ scheme, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and various national and local business support schemes. It shows that the economic crisis associated with the pandemic has been construed to justify interventions that preserve the spatially uneven status quo of the UK’s model of economic development, protecting business from harms arising, apparently, from the public’s reaction to the pandemic. To some extent, COVID-19 has been treated as a localised phenomenon that the national economy requires protection from.
... Tacitly repudiating the role of destructive economic forces in generating ecological degradation, ecobordering serves to rationalise border restrictions and violence in the midst of increasing climate migration. By analysing ecobordering as a discourse, we are attentive to the role played by discursive framings in rendering issues intelligible, (re)producing forms of social meaning, and shaping political and material outcomes (Blyth 2002, Schmidt 2010, Hay 2011. However, we treat these discursive formations as produced through historical relations of power, constituted within broader colonial and capitalist ideologies and structures (Quijano 2007). ...
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Based on an analysis of 22 European far-right parties, we identify an emergent discourse in environmental politics, which we conceptualise as ‘ecobordering’. This discourse seeks to blame immigration for national environmental degradation, which draws on colonial and racialised imaginaries of nature in order to rationalise further border restrictions and ‘protect’ the ‘nativist stewardship’ of national nature. As such, ecobordering seeks to obscure the primary driving causes of the ecological crisis in the entrenched production and consumption practices of Global North economies, whilst simultaneously shifting blame on to migration from the Global South where ecological degradation has been most profound. In an era of increasing climate migration, ecobordering thereby portrays effects as causes and further normalises racist border practices and colonial amnesia within Europe.
... In Gramsci's (1992) core formulation, the success of such "framing effects" requires material concessions targeted on potentially disruptive subordinate groups (Przeworski 1985, ch 4). In any case, there is little doubt that the ability to shape perceptions of "how the economy works" contributes to reducing the electoral vulnerability of the growth model (Blyth 2002;Ferrara et al. 2021;Hall 1993;Schmidt 2008). ...
Article
This article develops a framework for studying the politics of growth models. These, the authors posit, are sustained by ‘growth coalitions’ based in key sectors. Their members are first and foremost firms and employer associations, but fractions of labor are also included, if their interests do not impair the model’s functionality. There is no guarantee that a growth coalition and a winning electoral coalition coincide. In normal times, a growth coalition effectively insulates itself from political competition, and mainstream political parties converge on key growth model policies. In moments of crisis, however, the coalition shrinks, favoring the emergence of challengers that fundamentally contest the status quo. The way governing parties respond to electoral pressures can also play an important role in the recalibration of growth models. The authors illustrate the argument by examining the politics of ‘export-led growth’ in Germany, ‘construction-led growth’ in Spain, and ‘balanced growth’ in Sweden.
Article
Although the American corporation is now taken for granted as a private market actor, the corporation was once just as readily accepted as a quasi-public ‘creature of the state.’ This conceptual shift marks one of the most historically consequential instances of conceptual reclassification in American economic history. How was an understanding of the corporation as subordinate to the state replaced with an understanding of the corporation as prior to the state? In this article, I demonstrate that the symbolic privatization of the corporation was the joint product of both liberal and progressive legal theorizing. Further, I show that ‘naturalizing analogies’ are key to understanding this conceptual transformation. In tracing the legal theorization of the corporation, I show how the instability of naturalizing analogies, and their ability to entail associations beyond those intended by their proponents, played a role in corporate reclassification and are therefore critical to understanding the symbolic structure of corporate capitalism.
Article
Models of culture and action argue that crises can be generative of change, with changing contexts setting off reflexivity—a view of crisis as self-evident that is echoed in comparative historical work. Looking to the beginning of the Cold War in Romania and France, this article elaborates two instances when crises did not produce reflexive recognition. This echoes performative approaches that highlight actors needing to interpret crises into being yet underscores that crisis claims nonetheless take place in contexts potentially marked by shifting sociocultural scaffoldings. Rooted in the empirical finding that actors can live through—and be affected by—structural transformations without thinking of themselves as being in crisis, I put forward a conception of crises as unclear as they are taking place. Actors can guess at being or not being in crisis, with no guarantee their guess is fortuitous. Crisis management will be the result of these guesses: some informed, some lucky—and some, indeed, disastrous.
Article
Scholarship on regulating global finance emphasizes the importance of national and bureaucratic interests, but less attention has been devoted to epistemic sources of regulatory conflict. We address this by analyzing the failure of regulators to agree tougher rules for large investment funds after the 2008 crisis. The article suggests this outcome was the result of epistemic contestation between prudential regulators and securities regulators, rooted in divergent interpretive “frames.” We show that US and EU prudential regulators pushed for entity‐based regulation of investment funds by escalating the issue to global standard‐setting bodies. But this was successfully resisted by securities regulators that exercised epistemic authority through recursive practices—appeals to expertise, jurisdictional claims, and alliance building—to defend their transaction‐based approach. The article demonstrates how an interpretivist perspective can provide new insights into inter‐agency conflict and regulatory disputes in other policy fields.
Thesis
This thesis examines and exposes how the heightened socio-cultural salience of immigration in contemporary Sweden affects the traditional party of power, the Social Democrats (SAP), and its understanding and response to the nationalist ‘populist’ party the Sweden Democrats (SD). Through extended ethnographic, survey and archival research in the year leading up to the September 2018 general election, I dissect how these dynamics manifested in Norrköping, a traditional SAP stronghold with a long history of immigration where support for SD has grown considerably. Based on my findings, I argue that the untranslatable Swedish concept of ‘trygghet’ functions as a powerful heuristic device for understanding the 2018 election campaign. Denoting an enveloping sense of safety and comfort, trygghet, and its antipode otrygghet, were increasingly mobilised by both the SAP and SD in the wake of the 2015 European refugee crisis. Among SD supporters and party members I illustrate the resentful power of a mythological nostalgia for a trygghet that is intimately tied to an imagined social democratic Sweden of yesteryear. Within the SAP, however, the aggravated socio-cultural politics of immigration exposed a different register of evocative nostalgias for what the fundamental precepts of social democracy are. Due to the heightened salience of immigration, these competing visions of trygghet came to a forceful head during the election campaign and ultimately proved contentious for the SAP. This thesis contributes original findings to the burgeoning literature on how immigration is reshaping traditional socio-political conflict dimensions. Adopting both ethnographic and geographic sensitivities, it adds to the growing scholarship which takes seriously the everyday contexts in which people make sense and meaning out of socio-politics. By doing so, it exposes the glaringly normative limitations common to both dominant academic and social democratic explanations for the rise of nationalist ‘populism’.
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This exploration of UK fiscal rules and the establishment of an independent UK fiscal watchdog focuses on the practical enactment of rules-based fiscal policy to analyse the politics of technocratic economic governance. Analysing UK macroeconomic policy rules and their operation unearths numerous dimensions of the politics of technocratic fiscal policy-making. Firstly, policy rules are marshalled for partisan purposes. Secondly, a politics of economic ideas surrounds the invention, revision and interpretation of fiscal rules. Thirdly, technocratic economic governance entails a ‘politics of method’, selecting methodological approaches necessarily built on particular political economic assumptions. Finally, a ‘politics of numbers’ sees politicians cooking the books to present their economic record favourably against fiscal yardsticks. Successive governments have altered UK fiscal rules, informed by different political economic principles. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) sees itself as a technocratic and apolitical institution, yet its operational work entails contrasting accounts of the economy and policy. The scale of discretion and judgement inherent in operating fiscal rules is under-appreciated. This article finds technocratic economic governance to be a much more social and political process than many advocates of economic rules-based policy acknowledge. It engenders new forms of distinctive fiscal politics within elite statecraft and expert technocracy.
Article
In this article, I discuss the importance of ontology and its implications, demonstrated in the examples of different approaches to neoliberalism. The lack of careful ontological considerations leads to confusing and often contradictory usages of the term ‘neoliberalism’, obfuscating its usefulness. Instead, I suggest a cartography which consists of integrating two ontological debates ‐ structure‐agency and material‐ideational ‐ through the interplay between the problematiques of structuration and semiosis, and the operational debate on ideas/interests. In so doing, this cartography can provide readers with various heuristic devices to understand the making of theories, why and how conceptualizations of neoliberalism differ between and within theories and pinpoint the thematic implications of these differences. The translation of this cartography helps to achieve two things, (1) to move beyond the static analyses of neoliberalism and endorse the dynamic understand of neoliberalization processes, (2) to understand why systemic process‐based understandings of neoliberalization can create distinctions between analytical understandings of neoliberalism in terms of either the commodification of marketization processes or the marketization of commodification processes.
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This research note seeks to update our understanding of the factors that influence shifts in social movement strategies. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I assess the role of crisis in whether and how social movements reshape their strategies and perhaps redefine their fight for the right to the city. Though previous research has shown the importance of political opportunities and ideology for social movement strategies, we need to reassess these variables and the direction of change in times of crisis. Using the case of the Union of Housing Movements in São Paulo, I find that though the tactics of the movement responded to a conflictual relationship at the federal level and a need to meet immediate needs of members, the ideology of the movement provided the structure for continuing to engage in inclusionary governance strategies and renewed energy for transformational change.
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While there are some signs of revitalization, social democracy has witnessed a deep electoral crisis over the last decades. The causes for the decline of social democratic parties are highly contested among researchers. This article provides a systematic review of the literature which spans several fields such as party politics, political sociology and political economy. Four kinds of explanations (sociological, materialist, ideational and institutional) are distinguished and scrutinized on the basis of empirical studies published since 2010. The findings indicate that there is not one explanation that stands out but that the electoral crisis of social democracy is a complex phenomenon with multiple causes, such as socio-structural changes, fiscal austerity and neoliberal depolarization. In addition, the findings suggest that a liberal turn on sociocultural issues does not necessarily lead to vote losses. Further research should explore more deeply how short-term and long-term factors have worked together in the process of social democratic decline.
Chapter
The chapter presents the theoretical framework of the book and the observable implications. It begins by discussing the main theoretical perspectives and key concepts on which the book’s theoretical argument is built. By drawing eclectically on the literature on agenda setting, ideas and social construction of problems, the chapter then conceptualises the argument as a configuration of three-stages in which a problem definition originates (stage 1), develops in the policy-making arena (stage 2) and is institutionalised as policy solution (stage 3). For each of these stages, observable implications are derived. The second part of the chapter outlines process tracing as the most suitable method for assessing the influence of ideas at key points in time and distinguishing the influence of ideas from the influence of other conditions.
Article
Industrial relations scholars are paying increasing attention to the role of ideas in explaining shifts in bargaining systems and wage policies. This article contributes to this growing body of literature by conducting a meso-level analysis of the uses and impacts of ideas in wage regulation policy processes in coordinated market economies. Through our in-depth case study of the Finnish policy process leading to the Competitiveness Pact of 2016, we argue that certain ideas – which we call the ‘economic outlook’ – prescribed and legitimized exhausting institutional resources in wage regulation and enabled temporary consensus among divergent interests regarding wage policy. The economic outlook linked and enabled compromises between wage policy and wage regulation interests and effectively solidified a commitment to an uncertain policy process. The case study suggests that an ideational analysis of policy processes can offer explanations for shifts in wage policy and regulation that deviate from macro-level regime shifts. While all Nordic countries have faced similar economic and institutional reform pressures, Finland’s readoption of centralized bargaining shows that national policy ideas can drive distinct industrial relations patterns within the Nordic context.
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From the discussion on the variants of institutional theory in this chapter, the historical institutionalism serves as one of the major theoretical anchors to comprehend the institutional creation of the Indonesian FSA as the rationale for the existing domestic implementation gaps. Consequently, this book uses an approach that expands the account of historical institutionalism. This expansion includes features that can incorporate both the bidirectional relationship and the surrounding structural context, or termed as the “agents-in-context” approach.KeywordsAgents-in-ContextInstitutional TheoryHistorical Institutionalism
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This article relates the history of economists' influence in shaping the content of theHumphrey-Hawkins Act (1978) and its immediate consequences. The act committed the federal government to reduce as soon as 1983 unemployment to 4 percent and inflation to 3 percent. Initially, the Humphrey-Hawkins bill was conceived as a project to favor the economic integration of African Americans and economic planning and targeted only the unemployment rate. Republican senators successfully pushed for adding a numerical inflation target during the debates in Congress. The act eventually put on equal footing inflation and unemployment. I argue that the economists in the Carter administration, and notably the Council of Economic Advisers, were instrumental, even if unintentionally, in favoring the integration of an inflation target and such an interpretation of the bill. In the negotiations that opposed them to the supporters of the bill, as well as in the analysis of the bill they produced, they insisted on the existence of a trade-off between inflation and unemployment and referred frequently to the famous Phillips curve. They endeavored to anchor their expertise on academic publications, which strengthened the role of the Phillips curve in shaping the debates. Business organizations and senators used references to the trade-off to undermine the bill and favor the integration of an inflation target.
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The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has once again highlighted the importance of social inequalities during major crises, a reality that has clear implications for public policy. In this introductory article to the thematic issue of Policy and Society on COVID-19, inequalities, and public policies, we provide an overview of the nexus between crisis and inequality before exploring its importance for the study of policy stability and change, with a particular focus on policy design. Here, we stress the persistence of inequalities during major crises before exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to focus on these inequalities when the time comes to design policies in response to such crises. Paying close attention to the design of these policies is essential for the study of, and fight against, social inequalities in times of crisis. Both during and beyond crises, policy design should emphasize tackling with inequalities. This is the case because current design choices shape future patterns of social inequality.
Chapter
This chapter sets out a discursive institutionalist (DI) framework (see Schmidt, 2008, 2015) to look at dynamics of institutional continuity and change in relation to HiAP in the EU. DI thinks of institutions as social and discursive constructs that shape and are shaped by the people that make up those institutions. On the one hand, this framework locates structural continuity in both ‘formal’ institutional architecture and ideational power dynamics that maintain established belief systems (notably dominant ways of understanding health and the knowledge/policy relationship). On the other hand, it locates the space for agential change (though not necessarily radical change) in the discursive characteristics of HiAP: how has HiAP been articulated and how has it evolved since? What explains the relative success of HiAP reaching the EU in the first place? If radical change is unlikely, could HiAP still foster some kind of slow, gradual change? Looking at both structural and agential power dynamics prevents overly deterministic depictions of institutions, without over-estimating the scope for change. In this chapter, I argue that analysing structural (ideational and institutional) constraints, as well as HiAP itself, enables us to critically evaluate its potential to induce change.
Article
This article explores how a technocratic consensus was constructed around the emergence of build to rent housing (BTR) in Australia which helped depoliticize this new wave of rental housing financialization. It argues that (digital) news media—an age-old medium for elite storytelling—operates as a key discursive technology of financialized capitalism through which this consensus is ‘policed’. Specifically, reporting scripted the rise of institutional investors into Australia's rental sector in ways that disavowed properly political disagreements vis-à-vis BTR. Its analysis is informed by post-political theories, which converge around a shared concern with how political disagreement is disavowed and replaced with technocratic governance, consensus and a privileging of certain orders of subjects. Post-foundational thinker Jacques Rancière's thinking on aesthetic regimes assists in exploring this consensus and its limits by foregrounding how regimes of representation delineate what can be said and argued (and different agents' authority to speak). This Rancièrian aesthetic analysis identifies that news media restricts the coordinates of public debate through: (1) technical storylines that guide public audiences to understand and evaluate BTR foremost as an asset class whose expansion is a matter of national economic interest; (2) strategic silences that obscure associated complexities and tensions surrounding BTR's dual function as an asset class and as housing; and (3) endorsement of BTR industry actors as ‘experts’ with authority to make BTR thinkable in this way. The aesthetic regime that circumscribes Australian public BTR debate represents a post-political strategy that assists in non-trivial ways to re-inscribe the financializing project in Australia, albeit with limits.
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International competitiveness has solidified itself as a key policy goal for nation states. The consequent competitive re-design of tax systems has reduced corporate tax rates across borders. To understand the policy-shaping nature of tax competition, we examine how the changing imagery of competitiveness has rationalised lowering the corporate tax rate in three Finnish tax reforms since the 1990s. In attracting mobile capital by inventing tax system disparities, governments increasingly rely on imaginary capital migration. Examining imaginary capital migration demonstrates that governments’ competitive policies of fiscal nationalism greatly overlap with corporate taxpayers’ tax avoidance arrangements, as both practices are largely disembedded from the material dynamics of economy. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
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