Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Prosperity for All? Economic, Social and Political Change in New Zealand since 1935

My single authored book entitled – Prosperity for All? Economic, Social and Political Change in New Zealand since 1935 – was published by Cengage (Melbourne) in 2005. I plan to complete a revised, expanded and updated edition in 2016.

I have posted the back cover description and the table of contents so that people can work out if it is likely to be useful and interesting.

Back Cover Description:
This book draws upon years of original research to provide a lively, lucid and compelling account of economic, social and political change in New Zealand since 1935. It assembles a wealth of factual information, that is not easily accessible elsewhere, in order to ascertain whether or not this change has brought prosperity for all. The carefully reached conclusion is that extensive inequalities of class, gender and ethnicity abound and have increased since the mid-1970s.

With respect to New Zealand’s political history, this book describes, explains and critically evaluates the rise and fall of the Keynesian welfare state, the shift towards neoliberalism from 1984 to 1999, and the Fifth Labour Government’s Third Way.

The book is organised thematically and chronologically to make it clear, accessible and user friendly. Reading guides at the end of each chapter enable the reader to explore issues in greater depth. This book will be illuminating not only for students and academics in economics, history, politics, sociology and public policy, but also for non-academic readers wanting to know more about the most important transformations in the economy, society and polity since 1935.

Table of Contents:


Part I: Economy

1.    From Long Boom to Prolonged Stagnation: New Zealand’s Post-War Economic     Development    18

1.1)    End of the Golden Weather: from Boom to Stagnation    19
1.2)    Monetarist and Keynesian Explanations of the Collapse of the Post-War Long Boom    21
1.3)    The Marxist Explanation of the Collapse of the Post-War Boom    23
1.4)    Monetarist, Keynesian and Marxist Interpretations of Disinflation from 1984 to 1992,
    and the Recoveries from 1993 to 2005    44

Part II: Civil Society

2.    The Changing Class Structure    58
2.1)    The Reality of Class Inequality    59
2.2)    Theorising Class Inequality — Liberal, Weberian and Marxist Approaches    65
2.3)    The Class Structure of New Zealand Society    74

3.    Ethnicity, Gender and Movements for Change     86
3.1)    Ethnic Inequality: A Brief Description    88
3.2)    The Underlying Causes of Ethnic Inequality    95
3.3)    Gender Inequality: A Brief Description    101
3.4)    The Underlying Causes of Gender Inequality    110

4.    Power Shifts on Contested Terrain: Business versus Workers and Social
    Movements     121

4.1)    Capitalism and Class Struggle: The Power of Capital versus the Power of Labour    122
4.2)    The Fire Last Time: 1968 and after    130
4.3)    The Great Moving Right Show, 1978-99    143
4.4)    Keeping Government Business Friendly, 1999 and after    158

Part III: Polity

5.    The Rise of Keynesianism and the Post-War Keynesian Consensus, 1935-1972     166
5.1)    The Rise of Keynesianism, 1935-49    166
5.2)    The Post-War Keynesian Consensus, 1949-72    177

6.    The Crisis of Keynesianism, 1972-1984: from Muldoon’s Interventionism to     Rogernomics     191
6.1)    The Breakdown of the Post-War Keynesian Consensus and the Fiscal Crisis of the Keynesian
    Welfare State    191
6.2)    A Swing to the Left: The Third Labour Government, 1972-75    198
6.3)    A Swing to the Right: The Third (Muldoon) National Government, 1975-81    203
6.4)    The Wage and Price Freeze and Think Big: The Muldoon Government, 1981-84    210

7.    Treasury’s Role in State Policy Formulation during the Post-War Era: Importing     Economic Orthodoxy    214
7.1)    The Institutional Sources of Treasury’s Power and Influence    215
7.2)    Treasury During the Keynesian Era: A Moderator of ‘Over-Violent Private Competition and Ambitions’    217
7.3)    The New Right and Treasury’s Briefing Papers: Herald of Free Enterprise    219
7.4)     Treasury’s Role in the Shift from Keynesianism to Neoliberalism    230
7.5)    Treasury and the Third Way: Entrenching and Extending Neoliberalism    232

8.    The New Right in Power: The Fourth Labour Government, 1984-1990     238
8.1)    The Fourth Labour Government: An Overview    239
8.2)    The Monetarist Disinflationary Macroeconomic Strategy     246
8.3)    From State Intervention to Market Liberalization: Supply-Side Microeconomic Reform    247
8.4)    Industrial Relations Reform: The Labour Relations Act 1987    249
8.5)    Fiscal, Taxation and Social Policy    251
8.6)    Public Sector Reform    257

9.    Completing Labour’s Unfinished Business: National Governments, 1990-1999     264
9.1)    The Fourth National Government: An Overview    264
9.2)    Anti-Union Industrial Relations Reform: The Employment Contracts Act 1991    280
9.3)    National’s Neoliberal Redesign of the Welfare State    289

10.    The Fifth Labour Government: A Third Way Beyond Keynesianism and     Neoliberalism?     300

10.1)    The Fifth Labour Government: An Overview    301
10.2)    The Third Way    307
10.3)    Softening the Neoliberal Policy Regime    311
10.4)    The Veneer is Social Democratic but the Substance is Neoliberal    317
10.5)    Making Sense of the Third Way    318

11.    The Historic Shift to Neoliberalism and the Third Way: Explanation, Critique,
    and Alternatives    323

11.1)    Explanation    323
11.2)    Critique    325
11.3)    Alternatives    334

Appendix I: Glossary of Key Terms    338

Bibliography    344

Monday, 4 August 2014

The Occupy Movement and Small-a Anarchism

I've written a review article focusing on David Graeber's account of Occupy Wall Street in his book - The Democracy Project. http://newsocialist.org/760-the-democracy-project-a-review

Graeber advocates "small-a anarchism" and consensus decision-making. In what I hope is a constructively critical review, I highlight some of the problems with this particular form of anarchism and the model of consensus decision-making that it promotes. This is not, by the way, an anti-anarchist rant. Class struggle anarchists would probably agree with all but one of the critical points I make.

Among other things, I am critical of the kind of consensus decision-making advocated by Graeber and small-a anarchists, on the grounds that "There is considerable evidence that consensus decision-making provides those who are time rich with substantially more influence than those who are time poor because of parental responsibilities and/or paid work commitments." I am not convinced that consensus decion-making alienates less people than the use of voting in situations where a consensus cannot be reached easily.

In the process of researching this article I read a superb account and critical evaluation of contemporary anarchism at http://isreview.org/issue/72/contemporary-anarchism. See also a socialist critique of prefigurative politics at: http://isreview.org/issue/92/reflections-prefigurative-politics.
For an excellent socialist evaluation of Occupy Wall Street see: http://isreview.org/issue/81/balance-sheet-occupy-wall-street