The Twilight of the Neoadministrative State? Crises, American Political Development, and the 'New' Interventionism
33 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 6 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2010
Amid the financial crisis dogging nations worldwide, shifting demographic trends disparately affecting economics worldwide, failed or failing states inviting the projection of Western military power abroad, and the aggressive positive state interventionist philosophy of the Obama administration, observers have noted a swing back to activist or “neoliberal” government in the United States and abroad. This paper reviews the administrative reform responses that have tended to accompany crises - real, imagined, or contrived - historically in the United States. From this analysis, four arguments are offered. First, there is nothing “new” about the “hollow,” “third party,” or networked “neoadministrative” state; cross-sectoral responses to crises have prevailed historically in times of crisis. Second, they are likely to do so in the aftermath of today’s crises because of the shift from competitive capitalism to administrative capitalism in the early 1900s, the power of path dependency, and the dynamics of historical institutionalism. Third, neo-interventionism by governments only advantages the state over markets if the implementation structures used to implement laws are ignored. Finally, secular demographic, debt, and implementation design features make it unlikely that the neoadministrative state will not persevere.
Keywords: Neoadministrative State, American Exceptionalism, Neointerventionist State, Path Dependency, Historical Institutionalism
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