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Employment in the Keynesian and neoliberal universe: theoretical transformations and political correlations

Ioannidis, Yiorgos (2011): Employment in the Keynesian and neoliberal universe: theoretical transformations and political correlations.

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Abstract

The question this paper poses relates to the role of economic theories in gaining wider support around political agendas. That is their ability to describe a problem in such a way, so that the “answer” would appear not as a political demand in favor of one class, but as a prerequisite for the general well being. The main argument is that in the context of Keynesian economics, labour cost has been set in the periphery of the theory, allowing labour relations to become a subject of social-political regulation. By contrast, neoclassical economic theory and its successors place the cost of labour at the core of the theory, which in turn means that any attempt to regulate labour relations by noneconomic criteria undermines the common wellbeing. Neither the first nor the second theoretical setting predetermines or abolishes class and political conflicts. But they both produce general attitudes with political consequences

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