Thebook, :a very short introduction,was written by Manfred B. Steger and Ravi K.Roy. This book comprisesof six chapters that covers issues relating to neoliberalism. Thefirst chapter introduces the reader on what is ‘neo’ concerningliberalism. In this chapter, the book tries to show the old and newneoliberalism. According to the book, classical liberals advocatedfor non-intervention of the state in the economy. In fact, theclassical liberals saw the state as just a mere watchman (Steger andRoy 5). However, the egalitarian liberals such as Franklin Rooseveltdefended property rights and individual autonomy. Besides, theyrecognized that modern capitalism had to be subjected to certaincontrols and regulations by a strong secular state. The chiefdimensions of neoliberalism entail the mode of governance, ideologyand policy package (Steger and Roy 11). According to the authors,neoliberalism usually manifests itself like a concrete set of publicpolicies, which are expressed in D-L-P formula: deregulation ofeconomy, liberization of industry and trade, and privatization of thestate-owned enterprises.
Chaptertwo of this book presents the idea of the first wave neoliberalismduring the 80’s. Here, Thatcherism and Reaganomics are discussed. According to the book, Thatcher and Reagan revolutions had a forcefularticulation of particular sets of neoliberal claims and ideas.Besides, the revolutions staffed cabinets with loyal advisers andsecretaries that shared the leaders points of view (Steger and Roy22). In addition, both Thatcher and Reagan sought to combine theireconomic neoliberalism with traditional conservative agendas. Inchapter 3, the book presents a second wave of neoliberalism duringthe 90’s. Here, Blair’s Third Way and Clinton’s marketglobalism are presented. According to the book, Blair insisted onstrengthening social solidarity without having to drop the neoliberalmodel of market-oriented entrepreneurship (Steger and Roy 50). On theother hand, Clinton was confident that super-capitalism could bemerged with greater corporate responsibility and moderate socialwelfare provisions. The book also provides that neoliberal claimdepicts liberalization and global integration of markets asirreversible and inevitable. This makes it easier for neoliberals topersuade people to adapt to the rules of the free market if theydesire to survive and prosper (Steger and Roy 54).
Asindicated in Chapter 4, neoliberalism was significant in achievingdevelopment as indicated in Asian countries. According to the book,between the mid 60s and 1990, eight Asian countries enjoyed growthrates, which were twofold those of the rest of the region. Thesoaring rates of growth were contributed by the high rates of privateinvestment, which complemented sound development policies and skilledmacroeconomic management (Steger and Roy 76). According to the book,distinct neoliberal adaptations evolved within highly differentiatedpolitical-economic systems.
Onthe other hand, chapter 5 of the book presents the idea ofneoliberalism in Africa and Latin America. The effect of theWashington Consensus on Africa and Latin America depicts theexistence of similar outcomes and patterns. From the perspective ofthe World Bank or the IMF, market oriented reform in the regions wasrequired in producing sustained economic growth therefore, liftingmillions of individuals from poverty. The book concludes bypresenting the idea of crises of neoliberalism during the 2000s andbeyond. Despite the undeniable accomplishments in overcoming thestagflation of the late 70’s, neoliberalism created both losers andwinners in the globalizing economy. The uneven allocation of materialbenefits sparked severe challenges and crises like the 1997-8 AsianFinancial Crisis, which became followed by Russia and Brazil economiccrashes (Steger and Roy119).
Theauthor has utilized varied sources in writing this book. One of thesources he has used in writing this book entails essays. Criticalessays from Alfredo Saaf-Filho and Deborah Johnston were used inwriting the Left perspective. Books were also used in writing thisbook such books included TheWorldly Philosophers,TheMind and the Market,and TheGreat transformation.Web sites included another source used for example, the Obama’sinauguration retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20text-obama.html. Besides, scholarly sources were also used by theauthor. Other sources that were used by the author include governmentand institutions’ reports such as the U.S. government reports andthe World Bank reports.
Whileit is apparent that the first and second wave manifestations hadtheir day, it is far from the truth that neoliberalism has exited theworld stage for good. has been indicated to come inmany varieties that have proved to be exceedingly adaptable tocertain social contexts. Besides, the first agreements struck amidthe G-20 leaders during the 2009 London Summit of applying Keynesianremedies to the ailing global economy may turn out as unsustainablein the long term. Although it seems as if free market fundamentalismhas been downgraded, the second pillar of neoliberalism (free trade)is not only still functioning, but has been viewed as indispensableby economic and political elites around the globe. A possibleeconomic recovery in the recent future may once again come toembolden the neoliberal voices, which have been silenced by thepresent calamity.
Steger,Manfred and Roy, K Ravi. :a very short introduction.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.