The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism

By Matiaske, Wenzel | Management Revue, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism

Matiaske, Wenzel, Management Revue

CoUn Crouch: The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism Cambridge: Polity Press 2011, pp. 224

Since the outbreak of the financial and banking crisis - with the subprime crisis in the US in the Spring of 2007 - there has been no lack of attempts at explanation accompanied by a swan song to the era of neoliberalism and the doctrine of unrestricted markets. But in spite of the state's massive interventions to support the financial market and individual, so-called system-relevant financial service providers, power relations have neither shifted for the benefit of the state, nor has the prevailing doctrine of the market as an instrument of allocation been significantly weakened. It is unsurprising that in view of the extent of the transnational crisis, the state, or more precisely the states, appear to be more reluctant than proactive actors. Democracy and intergovernmental coordination processes require more time than buying decisions on computer-based markets. However, if the market failure - of the financial sector, what is in theory the most efficient of all markets - cannot be mastered without major state intervention and if the representatives of neoliberalism call for the help of the state as a matter of course - whereby, according to the prevailing doctrine, this market intervention can only cause inefficiency - then this should be conducive to a mind shift in the economy and a focus on alternatives in politics.

There have been alternatives. Colin Crouch reminds his readers - the book addresses social scientists who do not necessarily have an economic background as well as politically interested laymen - of alternative positions: ordoliberalism of the Freiburg School and social market economy, left-wing liberalism with its North American character, Keynesianism and corporatism from the 1970s. But most notably he explains the rise of neoliberalism from the practical failure of "social democratic" economic orders of the post-war period in the wake of the oil crisis and the threat of recession and unemployment or inflation associated with it. Even if some aspects of this outline turn out rather broad-brush for the sake of conciseness: It is convincingly explicated under which conditions neoliberalism could be established as economicpolitical concept in the mid-1970s.

Moreover, Crouch points out the aspects in which neoliberalism differs from competing positions. In contrast to classical liberalism neoliberalism does not consider competition an indispensible precondition for market processes. Instead, this position relies on the market with a view to the results: The guiding principle is not freedom of choice and consumer sovereignty, but the message is consumer orientation and greater welfare through greater efficiency. The result is the preferential treatment of large organisations instead of strong antitrust laws and therefore possibly also of global corporations which dominate the market instead of small and medium-sÌ2ed enterprises. A central difference to the Uberai representatives of a "social market economy" becomes particularly apparent with regard to social integration and the balance of interests: NeoUberals are avowed opponents of trade unions, as these prevent the smooth operation of the labour market. Furthermore neoUberaUsm opposes economic activities of the state, as this is said to protect specific industries or businesses from market competition. Conversely, the privatisation of state or public enterprises is advocated. Finally "new public management", i.e. the adaption of management instruments from the private sector to public service, is a central element of this field.

Crouch refers to the internal contradictions of the neoliberal trend, which he consistently infers from the market model and its specific limitations, i.e. he develops neoliberalism as a more or less persistent bundle of answers to specific disruptions of the market equilibrium, e.g. for dealing with externalities and public goods, transaction costs and distrust, market entry barriers or ties between industry and politics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.