Historical Studies in Industrial Relations

The Neoliberal Labyrinth

Historical Studies in Industrial Relations (2015), 36, (1), 227–238.

Abstract

The three books under review all deny that neoliberalism is dead and that it remains pervasive as a comprehensive world view and not just an economic doctrine. Its vitality, notwithstanding premature death-notices, is due its role as a political doctrine serving certain interests which sought to reform society by subordinating it to the market. Support for neoliberal values and policies crosses political boundaries. The role of the state is limited but important: a strong state to create and supervise the market. The response of neoliberals to crisis, some directly of their own making, is additional neoliberal measures. For employment, this entails more privatization, contracting out, anti-union legislation, and deregulation of the labour market (including health and safety, and employment protection). Each of the books reviewed is infused with a generous humanism and offer hopeful approaches to challenging, resisting and overcoming the hydra-headed monster that constitutes neoliberalism.

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Author details

Eldridge, John