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Neoliberalism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 21 Jan 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (21 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019956051X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199560516
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 0.5 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

This book is a timely and relevant contribution to this urgent contemporary topic. (I. K. Gujral, Former Prime Minister of India)

About the Author

Manfred B. Steger's academic fields of expertise include global studies, political and social theory, peace studies, and international politics. His most recent publications include Globalism: Market Ideology Meets Terrorism (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005) and Globalization: A Very Short Introduction (2003). Ravi K. Roy is Lecturer of Global Studies and teaches International Development and Global Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. His research expertise is in Economic Policy and Public Policy. He is the co-editor of Neoliberalism: National and regional experiments with global ideas (Routledge, 2007) and the co-author of Fiscal Policy Convergence from Reagan to Blair: The Left Veers Right (Routledge, 2004).


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The "Neoliberalism" is a term that denotes several political and economic policies that have strongly shaped the global economy over the past thirty years. It has its intellectual roots in the in classical liberalism and the opposition to Keynesian economics. However, as a governing policy it is most closely associated with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. These two figures had more or less managed to put into practice a political philosophy that had been almost completely relegated to the realm of obscure think-tank thinking. Their success in this regard has been so thorough that almost all economic and political institutions, from all sides of the political spectrum, have been operating within some form of neoliberal paradigm ever since. Neoliberalism is usually associated with the political right, but there are several more or less important aspects of it that distinguish it from other right-leaning philosophies, and this book does a very good job at explaining the differences between them. In particular, it contrasts neoliberalism with economic nationalism that time and time again resurfaces in it various manifestations in right-wing political movements throughout the World.

One of the book's strong points is that it provides a global context for neoliberalism. It shows how it has been implemented on all six continents, and it discusses particular local circumstances that give neoliberalism a distinct flavor in various countries. The book, however, is a bit too quick to point out all the limitations of the neoliberal policies, and I feel it sometimes uses unnecessarily harsh language to characterize certain political actions that are deemed contrary to neoliberal principles. The final chapter deals with the current global economic crisis.
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By os TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
This little book is a powerhouse of information and analysis.The writing style is jargon free and there are copious and easy to digest data tables.In addition there are little coloured 'boxes' that provide handy little definitions and background context, so that the reader never has to flounder around wondering what is meant by Keynesian macroeconomics might mean, for instance.

The authors successfully plot the way that neo-liberalism has gone from the backwoods of intellectual theorizing and policy think-tanks into mainstream political thought and action. So much so that economic liberalism as an idea and agenda was for many politicians of left and right, not to mention their constituencies,seen as the 'only option',especially in the West.Even formerly closed off economies such as China,Russia and India by the late 80's ,early 1990's started to throw off the shackles of autarky, state controls and egalitarian thinking (in so far as it ever existed)in order to engage with the global market place. Proof of the power of simple ideas!

Neo-liberalism is essentially about 'small' government, trade and competition coupled with a focus on individual enterprise. Its early form arrived in the shape of rampant deregulation, privatisation and attempts at substantial welfare reform whilst balancing government budgets. This is the stuff of the Thatcher /Reagan era-circa the 1980's.This often went hand in a political conservatism that espoused open markets, personal responsibility,democracy for all and markets being left to get on with generating economic growth.
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This is a relatively short but very dense account of recent economic history using the term neoliberalism as a lens to look through.

The concept of neoliberalism is extended so broadly, it stretches from Thatcher to Blair, that it is difficult to see any real alternatives. The book almost seemed to suggest at one point that a neoliberal handbook had been secretly handed out to senior people in a variety of fields, and they all then adopted it wholeheartedly.

In contrast I would suggest that neoliberalism is like the ‘habitus’ described by Pierre Bourdieu and covered in the recent Gillian Tett book on silos. It is a set of opinions that have been widely been accepted as so obvious that no alternative can readily be envisaged.

The book is well written and clearly laid out, it has an authoritative tone without being unduly inaccessible. Whether you are curious about the term neoliberal or not, this is a good, and chastening account of recent economic solutions.
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This book got me a 2.1 in my Global Economy module at university. I missed nearly all the lectures and didn't really understand the narrative behind the course, but reading this 70 page book the day before my exam put all the pieces into place. Would highly recommend to those in a similar a position.

Also quite an interesting read and a different perspective to international development from one you might receiving reading something like the Economist.
Further, unlike many teachers of this discipline, does not get bogged down in its own self-righteousness.
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