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Constructing Neoliberalism presents a rich analysis of the shift to neoliberal economic policies in four Anglo-American democracies - Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand - over the course of the 1980s and 1990s. This period witnessed a dramatic shift away from traditional post-war consensus policies of active state economic intervention, public ownership, and full employment toward those informed by an ideological commitment to deregulation, privatization, entrepreneurialism, and freer trade.
Jonathan Swarts argues that this transformation was not simply a marginal adjustment in existing economic policies, but rather the result of political elites seeking to reshape what he calls their societies' "political-economic imaginaries." Swarts demonstrates that this shift cut across traditional party lines, and that in all four cases, the result was a new set of intersubjective norms about appropriate economic policies, the role of the state in the economy, the expectations and aspirations of citizens, and the very nature of an advanced industrial democracy in a globalizing world.