Jonathan SwartsConstructing Neoliberalism: Economic Transformation in Anglo-American Democracies

University of Toronto Press, 2013

by Bruce Wark on September 22, 2014

Jonathan Swarts

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The new book, Constructing Neoliberalism: Economic Transformation in Anglo-American Democracies (University of Toronto Press, 2013) shows how political elites in Britain, New Zealand, Australia and Canada successfully introduced radically new economic policies in the 1980s. While opinion polls have consistently showed that neoliberal policies are not popular, governments in all four countries have continued implementing an agenda that includes government spending cuts, the privatization of state-owned enterprises and free trade.

The book’s author, Jonathan Swarts, Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University North Central in northwestern Indiana, says he finds it fascinating how governments of all political stripes in the four Anglo-American democracies have adopted neoliberalism, which he calls a new “political-economic imaginary.”

In this interview with the New Books Network, Professor Swarts discusses how political leaders in the four Anglo-American democracies brought about the neoliberal economic transformation using a combination of persuasion and coercion.

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