In February 1962, the Israeli government adopted the New Economic Policy, a program for comprehensive economic liberalization reform, which is most remembered for the dramatic devaluation of the Israeli pound that it included. While the Israeli
How Israeli Economists Almost Changed the Israeli Economy
Alan C. Walker
The subordination of social policy to economic policy has been a continuous theme in the postwar history of British social policy (Wootton, 1955; Titmuss, 1967; Townsend, 1975; Walker, 1984; Hill, 1996). This distorted relationship has consistently cast doubt upon the autonomy of social policy, which has attracted labels such as the 'poor person's economic policy' and the 'handmaiden' of economic policy. Looking beyond the parochial vagaries of British social policy it is clear that the same problem shackles social policy in other European countries and, especially, at the European level. Indeed it is becoming increasingly clear that unless something can be done to reconstitute the relationship between economic and social policy the European project itself will lose contact with the everyday concerns of citizens as it concentrates overly on economic and monetary union (EMU) and becomes primarily a 'Bankers' Europe'. Such concerns have been expressed by senior European policy makers but, so far, there is no sign of a strategy to overcome the problem.
I shall approach the theme of this chapter bearing in mind two facts.
The first is that the worst post–World War II crisis in the world economy
has been halted, and we are slowly getting back to the surface.
The second is that Italy is a small, open, slow-growing economy with
little room to maneuver by itself and is part of a large, rich, open, and
most probably irresolute and relatively declining area of the world. Let
me clarify. The world economy has indeed been rescued. A wide range
of emergency measures have been adopted throughout the world to
arrest its descent along a downward spiral. Generally speaking, the
measures adopted were prompt, untested, and partial, and many went
against conventional wisdom. But they seem to have worked, which is
even more of a tribute to those who decided to adopt them. However,
rescue is not recovery. That will take more time and will be more difficult
to achieve, in part because during a recovery there usually is
much less pressure to act immediately.
During 2002, total employment in Italy rose by 1.4 percent compared
with the previous year, while GDP increased by 0.4 percent. Figures
for the other European countries were very different, however: a
growth of 0.7 percent in GDP was accompanied by only a slight rise
in total employment of 0.3 percent. The peculiarity of the Italian
economy from this point of view could be seen, paradoxically, as a
change from a phase during which growth in GDP failed to generate
additional employment (1996–1998) to one in which the stagnation
of production did not prevent the continued growth in employment
that had previously been triggered. Moreover, the additional employment
created in 2001 was less precarious than it had been before.
That is, the newly employed included a higher percentage of full-time
workers than had been the case in previous years: 92 percent of the
newly employed in 2001 were full-time employees, compared with 96
percent in 2002.
Factors Behind its Emergence and Profile of a New Right-wing Populist Party
to provide a counterweight to the Christian Democrats by staking out independent positions (for example on tax policy). 5 Under the leadership of Angela Merkel, the cdu has on its part adopted a more social democratic position on economic policy
Race and the Neo-liberal State
Since the 1990s, many countries have jettisoned a focus on economic development in favor of promoting markets and market efficiency. Much has been written on the influence of these neo-liberal economic policies and the linked idea of globalization. Less noticed is that this shift from a developmentalist ideology to neo-liberal reform has often been paired with an ideology that casts the state as neutral with respect to race, ethnicity, and even nationality. Indeed, while the heyday of wholesale adoption of neo-liberal economic policies may be receding, the neo-liberal state appears to be a more enduring feature. There is a need to examine more closely the neo-liberal ideology that pairs economic reforms with a neutral state, and a need to understand how this ideology is involved in the creation of racialized identities and racist practices.
Fanon, Marx, 'the Poors' and the 'new reality of the nation' in South Africa
In an earlier paper, written in reaction to those who argued that the African National Congress (ANC) had no alternative but to implement neoliberal economic policies in the context of the ‘Washington Consensus’, I discussed the strategic choices and ideological pitfalls of the ‘political class’who took over state power in South Africa after the end of apartheid and implemented its own homegrown structural adjustment programme (Gibson 2001). Much of this transition has been scripted by political science ‘transition literature’ and much of it is proactive, mapping out what should be done to establish a ‘pacted’, ‘elite’ democracy overseeing neoliberal economic policies (O’Donnell, Schmitter & Whitehead 1986). From another vantage point, I argued that Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps one of the most perceptive critiques of the transition literature available. This paper continues the discussion.
Stephen J. Silvia
Among the many striking developments that arose out of the 2008-2009
financial crisis and the subsequent EURO crisis has been the policy divergence
between the United States and Germany. Typically, the two countries
have broadly similar preferences regarding economic policy. To be
sure, this is not the first time that Germany and the U.S. have failed to see
eye to eye on economic matters,1 but the recent gap in perception and
policy does warrant attention because it has been unusually large. Unlike
the famous quarrels between Jimmy Carter and Helmut Schmidt in the
1970s,2 personality does not seem to play a role in this case. What then
does explain the gulf?
The Case of Greece
Konstantinos G. Kougias
Chronic deficiencies of the Greek welfare state and the introduction of austerity measures as part of the international financial bailout agreements have created an explosive cocktail of poverty and social exclusion that severely tested the resilience of the frail social safety net and the demands of equity. The score on the indicators of social quality has worsened considerably as the Greek welfare system was overhauled. This article examines the four conditional factors of social quality from the viewpoint of socio-economic policies and everyday experiences in Greece during the crisis.
Opportunities and Issues for Social Quality in the World of Work in Europe
François Nectoux and Laurent L.G. van der Maesen
This special issue of the Journal, which gathers a number of papers produced in the context of a research project recently conducted by the European Foundation on Social Quality, is again devoted to the crucial policy-field of employment. Indeed, at national and European Union levels, employment continues to be the most difficult and conflict-ridden part of the social and economic policy agenda, as it has for the best part of the last three decades. There has been very limited policy success in this field, and this is clearly illustrated by the fact that the most intractable problem, that of mass unemployment, has not been solved to any significant extent.