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Margaret Thatcher was a major political figure of the end of the Cold War era, who is still surrounded by much controversy today. There are two main reasons for this: she openly pursued an alternative vision of Europe at a time when federalism was still the dominant discourse; and she called for the liberalisation of the Eastern bloc, rather than its disintegration.
The vision of a common Europe that was much promoted since the late 1980s is now all but dead. Europe is divided not just between East and West, but also between North and South. The new divisions are ones forged by the 2008 crisis of western capitalism and are between debtor and creditor states.
How do we explain the resilience of neoliberal economic ideas? We propose five lines of analysis to explain such resilience: the flexibility of neoliberalism’s core principles; the gaps between neoliberal rhetoric and reality; the strength of neoliberal discourse in debates; the power of interests in the strategic use of ideas; and the force of institutions in the embedding of neoliberal ideas.

The birth of neoliberalism is difficult to date precisely. As an intellectual project it emerged in the 1930s and 1940s in various initially unrelated institutional contexts from the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg to the Economics Department at the University of Chicago.


The European elections come at a time of general crisis in Europe. Its very first indicator being the dramatic drop in citizens’ trust in the EU. Social movements, activists, global justice movements, anti-austerity protestors: what role do they play in the European Union's policy?