chapter  12
35 Pages

Between neo-liberalism and no liberalism: progressive approaches to economic liberalization in Western Europe


I believe that this dichotomous vision rests on a limited conception of economic liberalization. My central claim is that there is more than one way to liberalize. How a country liberalizes is as important as whether it liberalizes. Economic liberalization need not be synonymous with the harsh, neo-liberal methods of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, or George W. Bush. It is possible to reconcile liberalization with concerns about equity and the disadvantaged, depending on how liberalizing reforms are constructed. Moreover, such progressive liberalizing reforms are not simply abstract possibilities, but rather the very real practice of a number of European governments.