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Liberalism in Illiberal StatesIdeas and Economic Adjustment in Contemporary Europe$
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Mark I. Vail

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190683986

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190683986.001.0001

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Degrees of Freedom and Constraint

Degrees of Freedom and Constraint

French Statist Liberalism and Economic Citizenship in the Shadow of Maastricht

(p.69) 2 Degrees of Freedom and Constraint
Liberalism in Illiberal States

Mark I. Vail

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes how the French tradition of statist liberalism has shaped policy outcomes in fiscal policy, labor-market policy, and financial regulation since the early 1990s. After the demise of dirigisme, French authorities expanded the scope of market forces, privatizing and liberalizing the French political economy. They did so, however, in ways that rejected standard neoliberal prescriptions, using state power to foster economic growth and expanding social protection to support the turn to the market. At the same time, the policy and institutional limitations of the post-dirigiste era, coupled with constraints associated with the Maastricht Treaty and EMU, forced French authorities to seek new means to accomplish these traditional ends. In all three areas, policy outcomes reflected a macroeconomic policy orientation, the continued primacy of an interventionist state, and an emphasis on individual citizens as the principal components of the national economic community and constituents and beneficiaries of state action.

Keywords:   statism, dirigisme, Keynesianism, fiscal policy, labor-market policy, financial regulation, citizenship, individual, automatic stabilizer, macroeconomic

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