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Re-Theorizing the Welfare State and the Political Economy of Neoliberalism’s Campaign Against It

Thomas Palley

Journal of Economic Issues, 2020, vol. 54, issue 3, 588-612

Abstract: This article seeks to frame neoliberalism’s relation to the welfare state. At issue are competing views regarding the size and organization of the welfare state. The article presents a new theoretical framework that distinguishes between modes of production and financing of the welfare estate. The framework helps understand both comparative country welfare states and the goals of the neoliberal attempt to refashion the welfare state. The article then explores the political economy strategy behind the neoliberal campaign. It argues neoliberalism seeks to politically discredit the traditional welfare state and change the economic structure so that the latter becomes unviable. Economists have been active agents in this process.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2020.1778396

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Handle: RePEc:mes:jeciss:v:54:y:2020:i:3:p:588-612