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Economics as norms contestation: the construction of crisis response in the transatlantic space

Birchfield, Vicki L. and Hayes, Jarrod (2015) Economics as norms contestation: the construction of crisis response in the transatlantic space. [Conference Proceedings] (Submitted)

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    In 2011, Iceland President Ólafur Ragnar Grimsson argued that the financial crisis that so roiled his country had shown that political science could no longer “play second fiddle to the models of modern economics.” Implicit in this statement is one of the governing myths of modern economics, namely that economic models are objective, predictive, scientific frameworks that explain the naturalistic operation of economic forces. Yet, the ongoing financial crisis demonstrates that economics is instead something far more social. We argue that in the response to the crisis, economic models have functioned as packages of norms that establish the field of political contestation, delimiting the range of policy responses. If economic models function as packages of norms rather than value-neutral explanations of economic functionality, then they become amenable to analysis using the tools developed in constructivism. Specifically, we draw on Checkel’s work exploring the factors that shape norm diffusion to examine the dynamics of norms contestation, seeking to understand difference in economic norms acceptance and the role of economic-models-as-norms-packages in the transatlantic debates over how to address the crisis. We find that constructivism may not take us far enough to explain the paradox of the austerity push in Europe and therefore propose a coupling of constructivist insights with a more critically inspired IPE approach.

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    Item Type: Conference Proceedings
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-US
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2015 (14th), March 4-7, 2015
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 16:41
    Number of Pages: 17
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2018 16:41

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