Economic globalization has political dimensions as well as political implications. It is both reality and rhetoric. As has been suggested in Chapter 3, associated with economic globalization are very real sets of developments which have placed considerable pressure on sovereign states. But it has a rhetorical dimension as well in that some states and some governments couch their responses in terms of urgency and inevitability, and in doing so, position those responses as the sole policy option available to them. The form of politics that has emerged and become dominant in some (but by no means all) countries has been dubbed ‘conviction politics’ of the ‘no alternative’ school (Peck, 2001, p. 445), drawing on a highly contested analysis promoted by the ‘business school globalization thesis’ (Watson and Hay, 2003, p. 291). As an upshot of this, we can see quite different policy trajectories developed to manage states and their economies in the current era, evident in the varying responses of the European countries to those of the Anglo countries of Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In this chapter, I focus specifically on the political responses and policy orientations commonly found in the latter group; on the overall dominant political assemblage of neoliberalism, on associated developments in how the state is both managed and transformed, and on the consequences of those processes.
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