Neoliberalism in Crisis by Henk Overbeek, Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, B. van Apeldoorn

By Henk Overbeek, Bastiaan van Apeldoorn, B. van Apeldoorn

The authors interrogate the situation of the neoliberal venture within the wake of the worldwide concern and neoliberalism's anticipated dying in 2007, either by way of the regulatory constructions of finance-led capitalism in Europe and North the United States, and the impression of recent centres of capitalist energy on international order.

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Thus, the shift towards neoliberalism was premised on broader processes of deindustrialization and technological change, as well as the growing transnationalization of ownership structures and capitalist production circuits through subcontracting and outsourcing, thereby marking a gradual and partial transition towards ‘post-Fordism’ (cf. Jessop and Sum 2006). Neoliberal ideas were not endorsed overnight. Initially, national governments opted for various protectionist measures to shield less competitive national industries from outside competition.

What then would it take for such a break to take place? As highlighted above, competition regulation needs to be seen in the wider context of capitalist production and power relations. This means that a genuine paradigm shift in this regulatory area needs to form part of a wider transformation of the regulatory ensemble at the EU and national levels. Neoliberalism is currently, however, reworked and extended, which can be seen in the field of financial services regulation (cf. Quaglia 2011), EU trade policy (cf.

Analysing the case of banking regulation in the US he argues that neoliberalism has been as much about growing competitive struggles within the financial sector, in particular, with investment banks having been empowered by US financial deregulation. Although obviously the crisis has seriously challenged their power, those investment banks that have survived the crisis are still thriving. In spite of the crisis, Hager concludes, the central pillar of neoliberal ideology, financial deregulation, has proven difficult to reverse.

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