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Enter Economism, Exit Politics
Teivo Teivainen
Price: $ 25

The presentday historic moment is ironic: democracy has apparently triumphed almost everywhere, but public participation is declining sharply and governments are failing their electorates. This sophisticated book diagnoses a two-fronted assault on the substance of democratic processes. First, neo-liberal ideologists have successfully persuaded people that economic considerations take precedence over any other factors, and are ethically neutral, technical matters outside the realms of political discourse and democratic control. Second, national sovereignty, particularly over economic and fiscal strategy, has been placed into the hands of institutions beyond each state's boundaries - notably the IMF, but also the US Government.

Teivo Teivainen explores this redefinition of the boundaries of the economic and the political spheres. In examining how and to what extent it is taking place, he takes the case of the periodic Latin American debt crisis in the 20th century, and, more specifically, the illuminating example of Peru. The transnational politics of economism is what the author calls this new social construction of boundaries at the hands of political forces largely outside most countries' domestic constituencies. He concludes with a reflection on how widespread this tendency is in the world today, and some ideas on how the adverse consequences for democratic institutions might be reversed in the coming generations.

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