Journal of Australian Political Economy

Articles from No. 68, Summer

Accounting and the Construction of the 'Cost Effective' Prison
Experiments with privatisation have been controversial. This is particularly true in the case of core government activities--such as prisons, defence, transport, and utilities (Funnell et al. 2009). Whilst there are some concerns over the validity...
Contestability in Human Services Markets
Over the last thirty years in Australia and elsewhere, there has been a substantial marketisation of human services (1) funded by government. A major justification used for this process has been the concept of contestability. Neo-liberal critics saw...
Contesting Markets All the Way Down
There is a story that has been told by both the physicist Stephen Hawking and the anthropologist Clifford Geertz. They report that a famous scientist was lecturing on the structure of the universe and when he finished, somebody stood up and said your...
Editorial Introduction
The idea of 'the market' has long held an important place in orthodox accounts of the capitalist economy. This is understandable given the important role markets play in the distribution of goods and services. However, the narrow emphasis on market...
'Home Economics': The Management of the Household as an Enterprise
The financial crisis commencing in 2007 has been persistently described as a failure of the market system. Initially, it was even claimed that the 'whole intellectual edifice' of neoliberal economic policy, with its guiding assumptions about economic...
Marketising the Environment
Is the environment the new market frontier? In the past, markets have commonly shaped processes of resource extraction and waste disposal that impact on environmental quality. However, their use as economic policy instruments for dealing with the environmental...
Melanesian Land: The Impact of Markets and Modernisation
New formal markets often have a damaging impact on rural livelihoods in Melanesia by displacing undervalued and sustainable informal economic activities. The regular focus on large formal markets also serves to distract attention from the promising...
The Illusion of the 'Power of Markets'
One of the most basic lessons any student of mainstream economics learns is that markets allocate scarce goods and services efficiently on the basis of price. More critical political economy scholars, such as Marxists who see capitalist relations of...
The Market Mechanism in Reality and Myth: Corporate Business Overlordship of Small Business
Small business activity in Australia is perennially dogged by market structures operating to the benefit of larger corporations. Unfortunately, the small business-corporate interaction is little understood because it is little publicised--ignored in...
The Participation of Vulnerable Australians in Markets for Essential Goods and Services
The hegemony of neoliberalism has seen the market virtually canonised and mainstream neoclassical economics successfully shaping an understanding of the market as being synonymous with the economy and capitalism more generally. But mainstream economics...
The Practical Heart of Markets
To men thoroughly imbued with this matter of fact habit of mind the laws and theorems of economics, and of the other sciences that treat of the normal course of things, have a character of "unreality" and futility that bars out any serious interest...
'Thinking Socially' about Markets
For more than a century, the discipline of economics has been dominated by the neoclassical tradition of thought. This has bequeathed an understanding of markets as spheres of free exchange between autonomous, asocial individuals. Moreover, this understanding...
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