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A common philosophy shaped all of these reforms: the logic of ...
A common philosophy shaped all of these reforms: the logic of discipline. It was premised on deep skepticism about the ability of democratic processes to make sensible policy choices. It sought to impose constraints on elected officials and citizens, often by shifting power to technocrat-guardians who were shielded from political influence. It placed great faith in the power of legal changes--new laws, treaties, and contracts--to produce significant alterations in the performance of governmental systems. Even before the global economic crisis of 2007-2009, the logic of discipline was under assault. Faced with many failed reform projects, advocates of discipline realized that they had underestimated the complexity of governmental change. Opponents of discipline emphasized the damage to democratic values that followed from the empowerment of new groups of technocrat-guardians.
The financial crisis did further damage to the logic of discipline, as governments modified their attitudes about central bank independence and fiscal control, and global financial and trade flows declined. It was the market that now appeared to behave myopically and erratically--and which now insisted that governments should abandon precepts about the role of government that it had once insisted were inviolable.
A sweeping account of neoliberal governmental restructuring across the world, The Logic of Discipline offers a powerful analysis of how this undemocratic model is unraveling in the face of a monumental--and ongoing--failure of the market.
1 The logic of discipline 3
2 The quiet revolution : central bank independence 23
3 Treasury power and fiscal rules 47
4 Islands in the public sector : tax collectors 65
5 The gates of trade : autonomous mainports 75
6 Protecting capital : independent regulators and super courts 97
7 Devils in the details : long-term infrastructure contracts 117
8 Beyond discipline 135