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Market-Driven Politics

Market-Driven Politics

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With the globalization of the capitalist economy the economic role of national governments is now largely confined to controlling inflation and facilitating home-grown market performance. This represents a fundamental shift in the relationship between politics and economics; it has been particularly marked in Britain, but is relevant to many other contexts. Market-Driven Politics is a multi-level study, moving between an analysis of global economic forces through national politics to the changes occurring week by week in two fields of public life that are both fundamentally important and familiar to everyone—television broadcasting and health care. Public services like these play an important role, because they both affect the legitimacy of the government and are targets for global capital. This book provides an original analysis of the key processes of commodification of public services, the conversion of public-service workforces into employees motivated to generate profit, and the role of the state in absorbing risk. Understanding the dynamics of each of these trends becomes critical not just for the analysis of market-driven politics but also for the longer-term defense of democracy and the collective values on which it depends.