GIS Dossier: Return of the Daddy State

Greeks queue for unemployment benefits in 2011
Europe’s economic malaise, visible in this 2011 photo of Greeks queueing for unemployment benefit, has spurred calls for even more state intervention (source: dpa)

The global financial crisis has created a new vogue for state intervention

  • One of the avowed aims is to combat inequality of income and wealth
  • But big government creates its own inequalities of privileged access, or cronyism

GIS “Dossiers” aim to give our subscribers a quick overview of key topics, regions or conflicts based on a selection of our experts’ reports since 2011. This survey is devoted to accumulating pressures in developed countries, especially in Europe, to centralize economic and political decision-making – often in the name of security. While consolidation of power seems to be unavoidable as a response to global networks of trade, finance, communications and information, going down the path of centralization exacts an extremely high economic and political price.

The global financial crisis of 2008-2009 ushered in a period of slow growth and fiscal stress in the euro area. Inevitably, these economic hardships bred a political backlash, which took the form not only of populist movements against the mainstream parties, but also a revival of interventionist arguments for more direct government involvement in the economy.

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