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date: 18 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Compared to other parts of the globe, the advanced capitalist countries of Western Europe, North America, the Antipodes, and Japan share a number of features: economic affluence and security, democratic rule, territorial and ethnic cohesion, and a well-functioning state. These advantages have bequeathed a strong reservoir of support for transforming, as opposed to simply rolling back, state institutions. Globalization, European integration, and economic stagnation combined have certainly led state authorities to cede important economic responsibilities, notably control over the credit system, fiscal and monetary fine-tuning, and ownership of utilities and other public enterprises. But, state officials have forged new responsibilities both within the economy and beyond. They have also cultivated new forms of governance, in particular, multilevel governance and public-private partnerships. However, there remains great public anxiety about the performance and accountability of OECD states, a concern highlighted by the 2008 financial meltdown and the ongoing sovereign debt crisis.

Keywords: state reform, OECD countries, affluent democracies, Western Europe, North America, Antipodes, Australia, New Zealand, neoliberal reforms, political economy

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