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Contestants, Profiteers, and the Political Dynamics of MarketizationHow Shareholders gained Control Rights in Britain, Germany, and France$
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Helen Callaghan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198815020

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198815020.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Contestants, Profiteers, and the Political Dynamics of Marketization

Helen Callaghan

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 introduces the puzzle and research agenda, reviews relevant literature, summarizes the argument, and reflects on the methodology used. Since the early 1980s, governments worldwide have taken a wide range of policy measures to strengthen and expand competition. The financial crisis that erupted in 2008 has not led to a major reversal. This prolonged phase of market liberalization runs counter to influential scholarly predictions that the role of markets would decline. Most doomsayers of marketization ignored mid-range political sources of capitalist dynamism, including endogenous policy feedback. Others focused too narrowly on the political representatives of market contestants, and on the collective action problems that afflict challengers more than incumbents. Process tracing techniques, mechanism-oriented research, and a stronger focus on the rejoicing profiteers can contribute to establishing whether and why market-restraining rules are more prone to undermining their own political support bases than market-enabling rules are.

Keywords:   Market liberalization, marketization, market regulation, collective action problems, endogenous policy feedback, process tracing, mechanisms

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