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Neoliberalism, free trade and the global economy

The ‘globalisation’ concept has become ubiquitous in British politics, as it has in many countries of the world. This book examines discourse on foreign economic policy to determine the impact of globalisation across the ideological landscape of British politics. It critically interrogates the assumption that the idea of globalisation is derivative solely of neo-liberal ideology by profiling the discourse on globalisation of five political groups involved in making and contesting British foreign economic policy between 1997 and 2009: New Labour, International Financial Services London, the Liberal Democrats, Oxfam and the Socialist Workers Party. In addition to the relationship between neo-liberalism and globalisation, the book also explores the core meaning of the idea of globalisation, the implications for the principle of free trade, the impact on notions of the state, nation-state and global governance, and whether globalisation means different things across the ideological spectrum. Topically, it examines how the responses to the global financial crisis have been shaped by globalisation discourse and the value of ideology as an analytical concept able to mitigate debates on the primacy of material and ideational explanations in political economy.

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Towards a new understanding of globalisation in the ideological landscape of British politics
Craig Berry

ideas about globalisation are not influenced by material experience. But to ignore ideational phenomena is to forgo the prospect of fuller explanations of outcomes in political economy. The book has also sought to demonstrate the value of ideology as an analytical concept. Ideology allowed the thesis to show that there are a range of intellectual influences on globalisation discourse rather than neoliberalism alone, as some theorists have assumed. Michael Freeden’s approach to ideologies encourages a focus on concepts, which has enabled me to show that the

in Globalisation and ideology in Britain
Craig Berry

discourse (in the United States) using Michael Freeden’s approach to ideology. However, he treats globalisation discourse as little more than window-dressing for neoliberalism. This is not necessarily invalid; yet to then claim that globalisation discourse derives from an ideology of ‘globalism’ is implausible. The 02c Globalisation 040-068 66 2/2/11 15:09 Page 66 Globalisation and ideology in Britain value of ideology as an analytical concept is that empirical findings on ideational phenomena need not be ‘all or nothing’. It is possible to show that the idea of

in Globalisation and ideology in Britain