IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Gradual Encroachment of Ideas: Lessons from the paradigm shift to embedded liberalism


  • Laurie Laybourn-Langton

    () (Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), University College London (UCL))


Elements of the shift to embedded liberalism are of interest for those seeking to understand how political-economic paradigms shift or to precipitate such a shift today. Two policy programmes were particularly important: structural reform of the global financial system, manifest in the creation of the Bretton Woods system; and a shift in the balance of ownership across the economy, in favour of the public sector. As in other periods, those prosecuting the shift employed a wide-ranging ‘theory of change’ that included a diversity of groups, was ultimately successful upon the election of signal governments, and which benefited from the centralised power of the post-war state and the desire of electors for change. These favourable conditions stand in direct contrast to the outlook facing current change efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurie Laybourn-Langton, 2020. "The Gradual Encroachment of Ideas: Lessons from the paradigm shift to embedded liberalism," Working Papers 3, Forum New Economy, revised May 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:agz:wpaper:2003

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Revised version, 2020
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    political-economic paradigm; post-war consensus; embedded liberalism;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N14 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: 1913-
    • N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • N94 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: 1913-

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:agz:wpaper:2003. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Marc Adam). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.