Across Western economies, the future of capitalism is suddenly up for debate. Driven in part by the twin shocks of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, the prevailing neoliberal economic model—which prioritized a light touch regulatory regime, minimal barriers to trade and foreign investment, and overall a small role for the state in managing the economy—is under attack from both the left and the right. Will neoliberalism be displaced? And what will come next?
Around the world, meanwhile, emerging markets have been grappling with similar questions for decades. Neoliberalism spread unevenly across emerging markets, and likewise many of them have been moving beyond neoliberalism for decades. These varied experiences provide valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of neoliberalism and the future of economic and political policymaking in a post-neoliberal world. If the Washington Consensus mantra of “stabilize, privatize, and liberalize” has lost relevance today, what—if anything—has taken its place? How are different countries reevaluating the relative roles of states and markets in delivering economic development? Are there new “models” that are generalizable and applicable across countries and contexts?
This report, which is the output of an academic workshop hosted in January 2019, seeks to provide some initial answers to these questions. It is organized around five big issue areas where neoliberalism provides incomplete or unsatisfactory policy guidance: growth strategies and industrial policy, inequality, finance and monetary policy, the environment, and power and politics.