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Fall 2012 CMNS 130 Reading Questions Week 8.doc

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CMNS 130
Kathleen Cross

Week 8 The Politics of Media Policy (Freedman) 1. What is neo-liberalism? What are the similarities and differences compared to liberal pluralism? • Key points in neo-liberalism o Free market o Individual rights o Personal choice o Small government o Commitment to market transactions above all other forms of exchange o Limited regulation/de-regulation o Privatization o Liberalization o Tax cuts o Austerity measures (Sparmaßnahmen) o Free trade disciplines o Attacks on barriers to capital accumulation o Cultural homogenization • Similarities of neo-liberalism and pluralism o Commitments to democracy of marketplace o Freedom from state and fruits of competition • Differences between neo-liberalism and pluralism o Pluralism based on recognition of group diversity  attempt to maximise group bargaining  goal: achieve social cohesion o Neo-liberalism based on individual responsibility  personal gain  private property 2. Describe the ‘new economic paradigm’, the political project and the ideological project of neo-liberalism o New economic paradigm o Neo-liberalism challenges existing patterns and rules of national finances and international trade o Shift away from Keynesian macroeconomic demand management to more structural approach to fiscal and monetary policy  Lowering of personal and corporate taxes  labour-market flexibility  balanced budgets  release of central banks from state control  extension of free trade across national boundaries • challenge to protectionist tariffs • constructing new supranational trade agreements • financial institutions to oversee and embed supremacy of free-market transactions  new trading environment favours owners of capital and their  agents and embeds private capital into the supply of public services o economic neo-liberalism displays confidence in allocative efficiency of market and quasi-market mechanisms in provision of public goods o political project o neo-liberal economic practices result in intellectual and political activities o doctrine of monetarism as spearhead of attack on Keynesianism o ideas of neo-liberalism jumped barrier into practical politics fast  neo-liberalism as inspiration for new political project o political project as project of capital re-distribution o creative tension between utopian aspects of neo-liberalism (market forces work seamlessly and productively to provide for all) and material practices of neo-liberalization (process that seeks to re-establish conditions for capital accumulation and restore power of economic elites) o contradictory phenomenon  free-market enthusiasts imposing tariffs to protect domestic industries for electoral gain  denunciation of interfering in the market vs. government bailouts of failing firms to protect national prestige and calm business interests o neo-liberalist state has minimal role in pure expression of neoliberalism, but more significant one in concrete actions of neo-liberalization o role of neo-liberalist state  create and preserve an institutional framework appropriate to project of capital restoration  contribute to trading environment that favours nosiness interests and is designed to generate private dividends o weaknesses  neo-liberalization is far more fractured and insecure process than neo-liberal ideas suggest  neo-liberalism lacks success in stimulating sustained economy growth and overcoming instability o ideological project o minority ideas concerning monetarism and anti-statism purely ideological  success depended on external economic factors and internalization and normalization of underlying concepts (competition, entrepreneurship, individual responsibility, rational calculation) o programmatic attempt to advance individual freedom could appeal to a mass (and disguise drive to restore class power) o institutional support of neo-liberalism  neo-liberalism has acquired discursive power that articulates its resonance throughout these key organizations in its pursuit of wider acceptance o neo-liberalism assist in naturalizing key concepts of capital labour practices (extension of working hours, increased employer control, disguised in language of individualization and flexibility) o discursive and narrative power of neo-liberalism has provided ideological software for systematic economic re-structuring  internalize neo-liberalism in the way people frame political and economic issues o neo-liberalism is strong discourse backed by powerful symbolic and economic forces that have helped to transform utopian ideal into political programme o neo-liberalism has produced new vocabulary that depicts contemporary transformations advanced societies are undergoing o over-arching aim of neo-liberalism is to transform balance of forces inside different economies and states in order to facilitate capital accumulation o ideological layer that attempts to root neo-liberal ideas of competition and individualization throughout population 3. What are the four dimensions of neo-conservative thinking according to Kristol? How is this similar and different from neo-liberalism? o Aggressive foreign policy o US has responsibility to intervene to make world safe for its version of democracy o Commitment to cutting taxes o to stimulate economic growth, which is seen as indicator for legitimacy and durability of a democratic government o more relaxed attitude towards role of state o recognition that it is not strong or weak, but intrusive government that is the problem o concern with social issues o pornography, abortion, quality of education, relations between church and state, vulgarity o similarities of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism o neo-conservatism combines neo-liberal emphasis on free markets and individual liberty with concern about social issues o share some common ground  both wedded to market transactions and deregulatory logic in economic matters o differences between neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism o neo-conservatism’s
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