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The problem of coordination in politics: what critics of neoliberalism might draw from its advocates

Greenwood, Dan (2011) The problem of coordination in politics: what critics of neoliberalism might draw from its advocates. Polity, 43 (1). pp. 36-57. ISSN 0032-3497

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/pol.2010.22


As critics of neoliberalism highlight the significance of market failure, contemporary political science tends to refrain from explicitly addressing evaluative questions about the relationship between politics and markets. This article explores how political analysis, even where deeply critical of neoliberalism, might draw from the work of “Austrian” theorists who inspired the emergence of neoliberal ideas. Friedrich A. Hayek, in particular, emphasizes the profound epistemological challenges that complexity poses for the political sphere. How, he asks, can it address complex choices and trade-offs involved in formulating and achieving policy objectives? How can the political sphere achieve coordination in a way that is sufficiently decentralized to capture the locally situated forms of knowledge and values dispersed across society? An analytical focus exploring these questions can help achieve a balanced assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of political and market processes in a way that complements and enriches widely used post-positivist approaches in political science.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:8038
Deposited On:28 May 2010 11:13
Last Modified:07 Mar 2011 16:40

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