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Type: Thesis
Title: Structuring the bounds of the possible: neoliberalism and the discursive hegemony of neoclassical economics.
Author: Nicholls, Seth Isaac
Issue Date: 2010
School/Discipline: School of History and Politics : Politics
Abstract: Since the 1970s the adoption and implementation of neoliberal policies worldwide by industrialised and developing countries alike has resulted in radical changes to the international social, political and economic landscape. This thesis argues that neoliberal policies may be understood as an ideological and political vehicle through which capital has sought to restore business profitability and economic growth in the wake of the post-war boom and that neoclassical economic theory (with its emphasis on market-based modes of resource allocation) has been used to legitimate the implementation of policies conducive to the interests of an international economic elite. It suggests, further, that since roughly the 1960s, proponents of both neoclassical economics and neoliberalism (in government, business, the academy and elsewhere) have sought to reorganise their societies (and the societies of others) in accordance with a number of a priori neoclassical/neoliberal theoretical postulates. This, it is argued, has resulted in the institutionalisation of a neoliberal policy paradigm (i.e. a pervasive conceptual framework through which policy-makers understand and view policy problems) on the one hand and the ascendancy of an overarching, neoclassically-oriented economistic discourse (which fashions our understanding of the world) on the other; both of which have acted to constrain the range of policy alternatives available to governments in Australia (and elsewhere) over the past three decades by structuring the bounds of the policy possible. It is the author’s contention that this has rendered our political institutions and those who are charged with the task of administering them largely incapable of addressing many of the social and environmental problems confronting our society and civilisation and that an awareness, understanding and recognition of the aforementioned developments is a necessary prerequisite for successfully addressing such problems.
Advisor: Macintyre, Clement James
Broomhill, Raymond
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of History and Politics, 2010
Keywords: neoclassical economics; neoliberalism; policy; Australia; politics; hegemony; discourse; economics
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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