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Vivien A. Schmidt

In: The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism

Chapter 6: Ideas and the Rise of Neoliberalism in Europe1

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Ideas and the Rise of Neoliberalism in Europe1
Ideas and the Rise of Neoliberalism in Europe
Vivien A. Schmidt
Introduction

Neoliberal ideas that focus on individualism, free markets, and a strong but limited state have so come to dominate advanced industrialized countries’ assumptions about what is appropriate political economic action that, up until the economic crisis beginning in 2007/2008, they had all but disappeared from public consciousness and debate. Widely held beliefs – about the benefits of unfettered markets and the dangers of interventionist states, about the importance of market competition and ‘competitiveness', about the necessity of liberalizing reform (e.g., deregulation, privatization, labor market flexibility, welfare state rationalization), and about the imperatives of austerity and structural reform during the Eurozone crisis ...

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