CEIL   02670
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
capítulos de libros
Less State in austerity: A concept masking the central agent of neoliberal policies
Discourse Analysis and Austerity Critical Studies from Economics and Linguistics. https://www.routledge.com/Discourse-Analysis-and-Austerity-Critical-Studies-from-Economics-and-Linguistics/Power-Ali-Lebduskova/p/book/9781138632547
Lugar: London; Año: 2019; p. 81 - 107
            The paper aims to explore critically andthrough the use of two different case studies the public discourse concerningthe role of State in structural adjustment programmes and in the implementationof austerity policies.             Whenausterity policies are about to be adopted, one of the themes of the mainstreampublic discourse is that the State is a wasteful and inefficient manager ofresources. As a consequence, the problems of the capitalist economy and marketfailures are attributed to State intervention or involvement with the market.The economic "abnormalities" and problems are supposed to be fixedonly if the state retreats from regulating the economy or from producing itselfgoods and services for the citizens and only if it leaves individuals andcompanies to pursue their own interests without legal or institutionalconstraints.             Ourresearch focuses on both the discourse concerning the role of aState/government in austerity context and on what the practice of austeritypolicies imply for the role of the State in the economy. We use two countries,Argentina and Greece, as case studies in order to investigate, first in whichways the discourse about the role of the State supported austerity policies andcreated a conceptual framework for further promotion of neoliberal reforms; and second, whether and to whatextent the ?less State? argument was a cover for changing or even expanding the role of thecentral government to directly benefit capitalist agents and redistributesocial wealth in favour of the few.             Byputting the debate on the role of the State at the center of our analysis, wefollowed the structure of the austerity discourses in order to contrast themwith the reality of neoliberal regimes. Thus, we found out that the State has a central role in austeritypolicies and without its firm, even violent, intervention, those policies wouldnot be possible to be implemented. In contrast to the discourse, the State isnot ?reduced? but enhanced or expanded to a different direction.            Weused historical and contemporary information in order to examine how the ?less State? argument hasbeen used in both Argentina and Greece the last decades. Our analysis takesinto account the different historical and social contexts of the two countries,for example, the blood-thirsty anti-communist ?preventive counterrevolution? in Argentina,or Greece?s participation in the Eurozone. However, differences are intertwinedwith several major commonalities in neoliberal policies in both countries, likethe destruction of hundreds of thousands of job positions, the impoverishmentof the majority of the population, the breakdown of public services andpreviously established social rights, the privatisation of the commons andseveral public goods and services and the acute repression of emergingresistances.            The paper aspires to contribute to the critical analysis of neoliberal discoursewhile providing details on historically specific cases of imposition ofneoliberal policies in Latin America and Southern Europe.