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Neoliberalism and banking crisis bailouts: distant enemies or warring neighbors?

Chwieroth, Jeffrey M. and Walter, Andrew (2022) Neoliberalism and banking crisis bailouts: distant enemies or warring neighbors? Public Administration, 100 (3). 600 - 615. ISSN 0033-3298

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Identification Number: 10.1111/padm.12774


How should we understand proliferating government bailouts of financial firms in successive crises since the 1970s and the rise of neoliberal norms opposing such discretionary public assistance? We argue that the relationship between bailouts and neoliberalism is one of mutually reinforcing coexistence. First, a new “bailout coalition” including much of the middle class has emerged in many countries over the past century, pushing governments to deliver extensive bailouts in crises. Second, many actors, including some within the bailout coalition, view neoliberal policy norms as a useful constraint on public assistance to other groups. This is especially visible during foreign crises. Third, governments often manage these conflicting pressures via a strategy of institutional “conversion,” adapting institutions and rules associated with neoliberalism to new purposes. This has generated rising costs, including declining policy coherence, increasing financial fragility, and rising distributional and identity conflict.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JZ International relations
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2021 09:15
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2024 18:18

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