Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance: Social by Joel T. Shelton

By Joel T. Shelton

Shelton investigates the conditionality regime directed at 'transforming societies' within ecu candidate states. He deals a brand new knowing of conditionality that includes the social and subjective dimensions of the 'European project', finding the pursuits and bounds of conditionality within the rules of political economic system.

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Additional resources for Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance: Social Transformation in Southeastern Europe (International Political Economy Series)

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However, the present is not a mirror image of the time of Smith or Marx: the conclusion of chapter 4 details how the ascendant neoliberal strain of political economy adopts and transforms these very old anxieties about social and subjective disharmony. 5 Three primary instruments (prioritization, programming, and evaluation) have been directed at opening fields of intervention for conditionality across various domains of political-economic life in Southeastern Europe. Emphasis is placed on analyzing how social and subjective dimensions of political economy – particularly in the fields of employment, social inclusion, and education and training – become increasingly elaborate and detailed targets for conditionality through the operation of its instruments.

But left unconsidered is the broader function of ‘normalization’ – or the practices through which policy seeks not only to adjust interest calculations but also to actively transform the social and subjective dimensions of agents in keeping with a set of ideas about what makes for a prosperous, orderly, and stable political economy. Some strains of constructivist IPE attempt to overcome rationalist ontology: while Abdelal, Blyth, and Parsons concede that ‘the preceeding [constructivist] paths presume preexisting agents’, they do introduce an approach labeled the ‘the path of subjectivity’ (2010b: 13) that problematizes the preexistence of agents, but offers a limited understanding of the dimensions and conceptual potential of subjectivity.

States, firms, and individuals may adopt norms of behavior, but norms serve merely to adjust 34 Conditionality and the Ambitions of Governance interests. Norms are a locus around which decision making can coalesce and through which policy consensus can be produced – they can be institutionalized. But left unconsidered is the broader function of ‘normalization’ – or the practices through which policy seeks not only to adjust interest calculations but also to actively transform the social and subjective dimensions of agents in keeping with a set of ideas about what makes for a prosperous, orderly, and stable political economy.

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