Industrial Policy in the Neoliberalism Era: a powerful tool for (or against) change.
Learning from International Practices.
One decade ago, the wake of the crisis called for the need of real policy actions in the real economy. In this setting, despite the neo-liberal rhetoric of austerity contrary to any kind of government interference, in many countries we have been witnessing about ten years of industrial policy practices. In the US and in the strongest European industrialised economies, governments decided to intervene with industrial policy plans. Policies with very ambitious goals: to stimulate the whole economy, protect domestic industry, sustain national employment, drive structural adjustment, promote competitiveness and innovation. The same happened in China, Japan, South Korea and in many other countries around the world.
While in some circumstances and in some countries a few of these interventions might have had an impact on growth, this does not appear to be always the case. And even if we assumed that growth has occurred in some cases, this would not be enough for industrial policies to be considered best practices.
With this call, we want to stimulate contributes able to tell the “true story” about the relation between government interventions, industry and development in different countries in the crisis and post-crisis scenario. To this aim, we need to collect detailed analyses about how governments in different countries and regions have intervened. Such kind of studies appears to be lacking in the last ten years in most of the scientific debate. This should not be surprising, given the need of neoliberal-oriented dominant academic circles for denying any possible active role for governments in the field of industry and development.
Moreover, we wish to stress that industrial policy is not just about managing economic and industrial development or structural adjustment, but it can be a powerful tool to transform social structures and promote social change. On the other , it can also be conceived as an effective instrument to maintain the social and political status quo. In this perspective, what are the best and the worst industrial policy practices? And above all, for whom are they “best” or “worst”? Which interests industrial policies have really served – in terms of territories, industries, generations, social groups, genders, classes, and etc.?
We welcome contributions aimed at analysing in detail industrial policies reporting experiences from all over the world. We particularly welcome analyses that try to investigate how these policies have impacts on different segments of society. In doing so, in this panel we would like to devote particular attention to the issues of social change and inequality in their different forms: industrial policy and structural change of industry, economy and society; industrial policy and inequality among territories/social strata/classes/genders/generations.
Papers can be of a theoretical, empirical or methodological nature. We are interested in national, supranational, or regional case studies. International comparative analyses are also very welcome. Contributions from a variety of disciplines – such as political economy, economics, business, management, sociology, history of economic thought, economic history, economic geography, public policy – are warmly encouraged. Authors should attempt to discuss the policy implications of the analyses.
Abstracts (500 words maximum) should be submitted by April the 8th. To submit your abstract, please go to the Electronic Proposal Form and carefully follow the instructions there. (All deadlines are listed at the link.) Please include ‘Neoliberalism Working Group’ in your submission.
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For details on the panel, you can contact: Marco R. DI TOMMASO (firstname.lastname@example.org); Elisa BARBIERI (email@example.com); Mattia TASSINARI (firstname.lastname@example.org); Chiara POLLIO (email@example.com); Antonio ANGELINO (firstname.lastname@example.org).