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Rune Møller Stahl, ‘Ruling the Interregnum: Economic Ideas and Authority in Non-Hegemonic Times’

by Gareth Bryant on April 21, 2017

2017 Political Economy Seminar Series

Rune Møller Stahl (University of Copenhagen), ‘Ruling the Interregnum: Economic Ideas and Authority in Non-Hegemonic Times’

Date: Thursday 27 April 2017

Time: 4pm-5.30pm

Location: Darlington Centre Boardroom, University of Sydney

Abstract: With Brexit, the election of Trump and the rise of anti-establishment parties to the left and right, the neoliberal ideas of the global political elite have lost much of their legitimacy. While the hegemony of neoliberalism is severely challenged, no clear alternative has yet emerged. This paper investigates the current state of economic theory and governance through the concept of interregnum. While IPE theory has a set of different theories about periods of hegemony and paradigmatic stability, the periods between stable hegemonies are distinctly undertheorized. This is especially problematic as economic history shows that these periods of interregnum can span decades. The paper will argue that the notion of interregnum is distinct from the concept of crisis, and the paper develops a theoretical concept that describes periods of interregnum through four key criteria: 1) Absence of a stable elite consensus, 2) Institutional continuity, but decreased effectiveness of key institutions, 3) Realignment of social and class forces, and 4) Presence of competing economic strategies within the elite. The concept of interregnum is employed to analyse the changes in economic ideology that followed the breakdown of the post-war Keynesian consensus in the 1970’s as well as the current aftermath of the 2008 crisis.

About the speaker: Rune Møller Stahl is a visiting scholar in the Department of Political Economy. He is based in the Department of Political Science and the University of Copenhagen.

Gareth Bryant
Gareth Bryant is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

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