Since its intellectual inception in the 1930s and its political emergence in the 1970s, neo-liberalism has sought to disenchant politics by replacing it with economics. This agenda-setting text examines the efforts and failures of economic experts to make government and public life amenable to measurement, and to re-model society and state in terms of competition. In particular, it explores the practical use of economic techniques and conventions by policy-makers, politicians, regulators and judges and how these practices are being adapted to the perceived failings of the neoliberal model. By picking apart the defining contradiction that arises from the conflation of economics and politics, this book asks: to what extent can economics provide government legitimacy? Now with a new preface from the author and a foreword by Aditya Chakrabortty.
Chapter 4: The Violent Threat of Management : Competitiveness, strategy and the audit of political decision
The Violent Threat of Management : Competitiveness, strategy and the audit of political decision
[Page 112]In 1974, European political leaders attended a meeting of business leaders in Davos, Switzerland, that had been convened annually for the previous three years by the Swiss management scholar, Klaus Schwab. The meeting was then known as the European Management Forum, but changed its name to the World Economic Forum in 1987, in recognition of its expanding economic and political scope. Schwab had initially convened a group of business executives to address concerns surrounding the on-going productivity gap separating European from American corporations. But seeing this as a problem with broader public significance, politicians were soon invited ...