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State privatization and the unrelenting expansion of neoliberalism: The case of the Greek financial crisis

Jérémy Morales, Yves Gendron and Henri Guénin-Paracini

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ACCOUNTING, 2014, vol. 25, issue 6, 423-445

Abstract: The existing literature has identified two waves of reforms within the neoliberal agenda of state privatization, deregulation and new public management. This study examines what we call the third wave of neoliberal reforms of governmentality, in which members of central governments and public servants increasingly come to think and behave like business entrepreneurs. We address the matter through the lens of crises theoretically capable of undermining neoliberalism's legitimacy. Specifically, we aim to better understand the manufacturing of consent to the neoliberal agenda of state privatization. We study the falsification of Greek public accounts as revealed in 2010, relying on empirical material, such as journalistic statements and reports from international institutions. Our analysis indicates that, although the Greek crisis provided an opportunity to question key aspects of contemporary state management, including the practice by governments of creative finance, the main problematizing trajectories articulated in both the media and political arenas did not destabilize but consolidated neoliberalism. In particular, we illustrate how discursive activity favors the emergence of a collective interpretation of crises that perpetuates the hold of neoliberalism over the social and political realms. In the discussion, we reflect on the consequences that this has for democratic processes.

Keywords: Discourse analysis; Fraud; Greek financial crisis; Neoliberalism; New public management; State privatization. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:eee:crpeac:v:25:y:2014:i:6:p:423-445