Economic Ideas in the Transition from Communism
New Thinking in Political Economy series
Chapter 4: Frameworks for Analysis and Interpretation: Diffusion, Marketplace of Ideas and Growth of Knowledge
4. Frameworks for analysis and interpretation: diﬀusion, marketplace of ideas and growth of knowledge The rise of neoliberalism, broadly deﬁned as a complex of policies, ideas and institutional changes, was discussed in the literature of the past decades from many perspectives. Usually the empirical illustration used in the attempt to explain the process was either the case of Western advanced democracies or the case of Latin America. The Eastern European front of the neoliberal revolution was usually taken for granted and the causes, drivers and stages of the process of ideas change were seen as evident and in no need of further explanation. That is the reason why when discussing the dynamics of neoliberal ideas in Eastern Europe one has to heavily rely on the Latin American literature as a reference point. Making a virtue out of necessity we consider that the discussion of the Latin America case could reveal signiﬁcant insights on the causal mechanisms assumed to be at work, mechanisms that might also have been operating in Eastern Europe. With that assumption in mind we hope that inventories of explanations for neoliberal reforms given by scholars of economic policy in Latin America like the list produced by Jack Knight (2002, p. 32) may oﬀer at least some clues for the European case. Knight lists among the most prominent explanations: The pressure from international ﬁnancial organizations that forced politicians to adopt neoliberal reforms (Stallings, 1992); The very fact that the diﬀusion of neoliberal economic...
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