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Unwitting ArchitectGerman Primacy and the Origins of Neoliberalism$
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Julian Germann

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781503609846

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503609846.001.0001

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The Origins of Neoliberalism and the Role of the German State

The Origins of Neoliberalism and the Role of the German State

(p.16) Chapter 1 The Origins of Neoliberalism and the Role of the German State
(p.iii) Unwitting Architect

Julian Germann

Stanford University Press

This chapter reviews the most prominent explanations of the global rise of neoliberalism provided within critical International Political Economy: (1) a state-centered argument, which holds that neoliberalism was imposed by the United States in a bid to reassert its global dominance; (2) a class-based argument, which sees neoliberalism as the project of globalizing elites who sought to restore their corporate profits and power; and (3) an ideational argument, which describes the rise of neoliberalism as a paradigmatic shift in economic ideas. The chapter argues that these accounts share a common bias: they pivot unduly on the Anglo-American world and are unable to capture the peculiar German contribution to the origins of neoliberalism. As a result, they misread the rise of Germany to the apex of a neoliberal Europe as a belated repetition of the same global movement spearheaded by the US and the UK.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, international political economy, critical theory, Germany, hegemony, state-society relations, constructivism, neo-Gramscianism

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