Consensus vs. freedom of consensus upon freedom? From Washington disorder to the rediscovery of Keynes
The paper retraces the history of the debate on the Washington Consensus according to the four-stage partition Consensus, Confusion, Contention, Conclusion, with particular attention to the criticisms evoked by the use of it as a tool for the “integrationist agenda” of the Nineties. We argue that the excessive shrinking in policy space available to developing countries is among the key factors explaining why the saga has rapidly come to a Conclusion, leaving room to the rediscovery of the “embedded liberalism” of Bretton Woods. It is our aim to show, however, that Keynes’s plan for a new international order inspired by a consensus on freedom rather than discipline, is still the most relevant model for a new system of national capitalisms enhancing member countries’ freedom to choose.
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