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Workers in Hard TimesA Long View of Economic Crises$
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Leon Fink, Joan Sangster, and Joseph A. McCartin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038174

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038174.001.0001

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Neoliberalism at Work in the Antipodean Welfare State in the Late Twentieth Century

Neoliberalism at Work in the Antipodean Welfare State in the Late Twentieth Century

Collusion, Collaboration, and Resistance

(p.161) 8 Neoliberalism at Work in the Antipodean Welfare State in the Late Twentieth Century
Workers in Hard Times

Melanie Nolan

University of Illinois Press

Neoliberalism is critical to understanding the experience of working people in the crises of capitalism from the 1970s to the global financial recession of 2008. The literature recognizes that neoliberalism was variously applied and developed unevenly geographically in complex ways. While research has concentrated on the advanced economies, such as the United States and United Kingdom, an antipodean model has also been teased out. New Zealand is recognized as an outstanding example of the late twentieth-century neoliberal experiment. This chapter examines the antipodean responses to the post-1970s economic crisis of capitalism in the light of a longer history of the welfare state. It shows that the response to neoliberalism was complex, involving resistance as well as collusion and collaboration. It begins by exploring the distinct antipodean welfare-state tradition, which is held up to explain opposition to neoliberal ideas, but which New Zealand largely shared with Australia.

Keywords:   New Zealand, Australia, neoliberalism, antipodean response, economic crisis, capitalism, welfare state

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