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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the principal developments affecting the states that preside over liberal market economies in the decades since World War II. After considering the perspectives offered by modernization, neocorporatist, and varieties of capitalism literatures on the liberal state, it reviews the relatively interventionist policies of a Keynesian era running into the 1970s. It summarizes the principal reforms of the neoliberal era that began in the 1980s, arguing that neoliberal discourse undermined the authority of the state, while policies based on privatization, deregulation, and contracting-out altered its operation. New forms of finance used to support demand-led growth strategies raised the risks of financial crisis, and limits on the fiscal and activist roles of liberal states limit their capacities to engage in the public investment in education, research, and infrastructure that are crucial to their long-term economic success.

Keywords: Britain, Canada, Ireland, United States, political economy, liberal states, Keynesian economics, neoliberalism, economy

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