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Hagen Schulz-Forberg

Crisis and continuity: Robert Marjolin, transnational policy-making and neoliberalism, 1930s–70s

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In this article, the author follows a history of transnational policy-making to illustrate a perspective on the crisis of the ‘long 1970s’ that is often neglected: continuity of transnational actors and institutions since the 1930s. In the interwar period early global governance practices consolidated, concerned with questions of global order and the kind of normative statehood needed to sustain it. Neoliberalism emerged at this time and in this field of early global governance actors. The concept of early neoliberalism is established in the article and taken as a red thread to think about European integration’s early history from a transnational perspective. Further, Robert Marjolin’s multi-level agency, his role in early neoliberalism and his thought serve as a prism through which the long 1970s from the financial troubles of the late 1960s to the new language of market optimism of the early 1980s are put into perspective vis-à-vis the continuity of actors and institutions managing the crisis. It is argued that the Left’s relationship with neoliberalism needs more careful attention and that Marjolin acted in accordance with some early neoliberal principles since the 1930s before, rather grudgingly, participating in the shaping of a new, contemporary neoliberal paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Review of History
Pages (from-to)679-702
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

    Research areas

  • European integration, Neoliberalism, Robert Marjolin, transnational governance, transnational history

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