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Draining the Swamp: Understanding the Crisis in Mainstream Politics as a Crisis of the State

Abstract

This paper examines Poland, Hungary, the UK and the US the most surprising cases of populist reaction. It argues that the social polarization caused by the failures of hyper-liberal reforms to the state, and the association of Social Democratic parties with those reforms, has provoked alienation from liberal democratic politics.

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References
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1. Mény Yves and Surel Yves, eds., Democracies and the Populist Challenge (New York, 2002).

2. See Streeck Wolfgang, “The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism,” New Left Review, no. 71 (September–October 2011): 612 ; Peter Mair, “Representative versus Responsible Government,” (working paper, Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung , Cologne, Germany, 2009), at www.mpifg.de/pu/workpap/wp09-8.pdf (last accessed April 28, 2017); for an exception see Zysman John and Breznitz Daniel, The Third Globalization: Can Wealthy Nations Stay Rich the Twenty-First Century? (Oxford, 2013).

3. Streeck, “The Crisis,” 6–12.

4. Crouch Colin, “Privatized Keynesianism: An Unacknowledged Policy Regime,” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 11, no. 3 (August 2009): 382–99.

5. Zysman and Breznitz, Third Globalization, 23.

6. Comparative Study of Electoral Systems Dataset, Modules 1 and 2, in McAllister Ian and White Stephen, “Political Parties and Democratic Consolidation in Post-Communist Societies,” Party Politics 13, no. 2, (March 2007): 197216 , here 203.

7. Burns Andrew and Yoo Kwang-Yeol, “Public Expenditure Management in Poland,” OECD Economics Department Working Papers, no. 346 (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, 2002), doi: 10.1787/18151973 (last accessed May 1, 2017).

8. Stanislawa Golinowska, Katarzyna Pietka, Christoph Sowada and Maciej Zukowski, “Study on the Social Protection Systems of the 13 Applicant Countries, Poland,” (working paper, European Commission/ Gesellschaft für Versicherungswissenschaft und -gestaltung, January 2003) at www.cor-retraites.fr/IMG/pdf/doc-321.pdf (last accessed May 2, 2017).

9. Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD Employment Outlook 2014, revised November, 2014, doi: 10.1787/empl_outlook-2014-en (last accessed May 3, 2017).

10. Ceteris paribus assumptions are that “holding other things (institutions) equal,” but the actual institutional environment was complex and simply assuming it away in theory meant that there were unanticipated and difficult consequences of policy changes in practice. For example: If you liberalise the labour market you optimise employment if other institutional environments are efficient – the working assumption of liberal economists – but if the rest of the institutional environment is held up/distorted by all kinds of market failures, developmental lags then you may end up with far higher unemployment and lower protections for the unemployed than were necessary or in any way productive.

11. Epstein Rachel A., “Assets or Liabilities? The Politics of Bank Ownership,” Review of International Political Economy 21, no. 4 (2014): 765–89.

12. Appel Hilary, Tax Politics in Eastern Europe: Globalization, Regional Integration, and the Democratic Compromise (Ann Arbor, 2011), 66.

13. Innes Abby, “Hungary’s Illiberal Democracy,” Current History 114, no. 770 (March 2015): 95100 .

14. Galbraith James K., The Predator State: Why Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Liberals Should Too (New York, 2008).

15. Hacker Jacob S. and Pierson Paul, Winner Takes All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class (New York, 2011).

16. Carpenter Daniel P. and Moss David A., eds., Preventing Regulatory Capture: Special Interest Influence and How to Limit It (New York, 2014).

17. Henry James S., “Let’s Tax Anonymous Wealth!,” in Pogge Thomas and Mehta Krishen, eds., Global Tax Fairness (Oxford, 2016), 77.

18. Ibid.

19. Hood Christopher and Dixon Ruth, A Government That Worked Better and Cost Less?: Evaluating Three Decades of Reform and Change in UK Central Government (Oxford, 2015), 15.

20. Ibid., 266.

21. Press Release, Prague 26 January 2011, ZIndex, the public procurement monitoring project, ledby J. Chvalkovská, P. Jansky and G. Skuhrovec, Institute of Economics, Charles University, Prague. For the wider story see Innes Abby, “Corporate State Capture in Open Societies: The Emergence of Corporate Brokerage Party Systems,” East European Politics and Societies 30, no. 3 (August 2016): 594620 .

22. Flinders Matthew V., Delegated Governance and the British State: Walking without Order(Oxford, 2008).

23. Le Grand Julian, “Quasi-Markets and Social Policy,” The Economic Journal 101, no. 408 (September 1991): 1256–67.

24. Herman Schwartz, “Scope and Why the American Welfare Model Remains Exceptional,” in Anke Hassel and Bruno Palier eds., Growth Strategies and Welfare States (forthcoming, 2017).

25. Marshall T. H., Citizenship and Social Class, and Other Essays (Cambridge, 1950).

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Slavic Review
  • ISSN: 0037-6779
  • EISSN: 2325-7784
  • URL: /core/journals/slavic-review
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