Abstract: Anti-globalisation protests and increasing dissonance internationally, including a host of new leftist leaders in Latin America and insider criticism are the signs of paradigmatic crisis for both neoliberalism and “free” trade agreements. This introductory essay seeks to demonstrate that such phenomena are not isolated events of passing unhappiness, but can be interpreted as part of a long-term shift, reflecting changes in the experience and opportunity structure of the young generation in the North. Ironically, the relative wealth and peace of the current generation sets up a relative expectations problem in light of declining economic prospects. Northern youth are the first generation to face potentially long-term declining income and job prospects in at least the last 2 centuries. While the system is in crisis, no new paradigm is yet apparent. Neither a global Keynesian state nor a breakdown of neoliberalism and free trade seem possible in the foreseeable future. This volume explores the nature of the crisis from a variety of angles that have not received adequate attention, but which signal long-term shifts in global economic governance.
Citation:Hira, A. 2004. ‘Paradigmatic Crisis in International Economic Governance: Explaining the Explosion of Protest.’ Policy and Society 24 (3): 1-16.