||With the globalisation of the capitalist economy the economic role of national governments is now largely confined to controlling inflation and facilitating home-grown market performance. This represents a fundamental shift in the relationship between politics and economics; it has been particularly marked in Britain, but is relevant to many other contexts.
Market-Driven Politics is a multi-level study, moving between an analysis of global economic forces through national politics to the changes occurring week by week in two fields of public life that are both fundamentally important and familiar to everyone—television broadcasting and health care. Public services like these play an important role, because they both affect the legitimacy of the government and are targets for global capital. This book provides an original analysis of the key processes of commodification of public services, the conversion of public-service workforces into employees motivated to generate profit, and the role of the state in absorbing risk. Understanding the dynamics of each of these trends becomes critical not just for the analysis of market-driven politics but also for the longer-term defence of democracy and the collective values on which it depends.
"Neoliberal democracy is arguably the most important political notion of our age, yet it is one that is very poorly understood. Colin Leys has come to our rescue with a brilliant and accessible presentation of the concept, chock full of hard empirical data and case studies. I strongly urge all who are concerned with the future of democracy to read this book." — Robert W. McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy
"Colin Leys's book drives a hole through the politics of the third way and the assertion by its government and multinational backers that it is possible to have universal services like the BBC and the NHS delivered in the marketplace. It cannot be praised highly enough." — Allyson Pollock, School of Public Policy, University College, London
"Makes immediate sense to anybody marginally to the left of Ghengis Khan, Mrs Thatcher or Newt Gingerich." – John Lonsdale, Trinity College, Cambridge, on The Rise and Fall of Development Theory
Colin Leys is Emeritus Professor of Political Studies at Queen’s University, Canada. His previous books include Politics in Britain, The Rise and Fall of Development Theory and, with Leo Panitch, The End of Parliamentary Socialism.