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Debating International Keynesianism: The Sense of the Acceptable and the Neoliberal Turn at the OECD

Abstract : Published in 1977 by the OECD in a context of widespread stagflation, the McCracken report has become emblematic of the “neoliberal turn” in international economic cooperation. This study undermines this shared teleological interpretation by revisiting the sense of what was acceptable among the actors mobilized in its writing, and the structural uncertainty into which they were plunged by their attempt to anticipate the economic and political future. Rather than an uncontested victory of neoliberalism, the sociogenetics of this bureaucratic text uncover the coping strategies of the “international Keynesianism” inherited from Bretton Woods and the plausibility structures of this space situated at the confluence of the political, bureaucratic, and academic fields. The dynamic of production is analyzed as a situational logic through which the Secretariat of the OECD was exposed to polymorphic external rationales and resources that collided with and were measured against one another. The report form allowed for this confrontation of informational, bureaucratic, and political capital, in a way objectifying their differential value or exchange rate for the participants. The socially structured expectations of what was feasible, costly, or risky are traced throughout the collective process of composition based on four key moments: the commissioning of the report, the establishment of its framework, the constitution of the group, and the crystallization of the report. The article thus proposes another way of investigating the nature of “turns.”
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 1:50:41 PM
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Vincent Gayon. Debating International Keynesianism: The Sense of the Acceptable and the Neoliberal Turn at the OECD. Les Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales (English Edition), Cambridge University Press, 2019, 72 (1), ⟨10.1017/ahsse.2018.21⟩. ⟨hal-02194291⟩



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