This paper addresses how Keynesian narratives are being used to reconstitute an orthodox policy paradigm in the face of the current economic crisis. Such ideological revisionism also occurred alongside the 1982 debt crisis and was crucial for the neoliberal ideological triumph that ensued. Similar revisionism can be observed now through narratives that locate the sources of the US financial bubble in Chinese external surpluses. This narrative has captured the imagination of many on both the political left and right, hence the potential for ideological reconstitution that cuts across traditional political positions in the North. These processes of paradigm maintenance need to be urgently addressed if the current crisis is to be leveraged for a return to a more progressive, inclusive and developmental policy paradigm in both North and South. Failing this, current orthodoxies risk being reconstituted or even reinforced, with the risk of finding ourselves soon entering a new round of development debacles similar to those of early 1980s.

hdl.handle.net/1765/31406
ISS Staff Group 4: Rural Development, Environment and Population
Presented at the UNRISD conference on the “Social and Political Dimensions of the Global Crisis: Implications for Developing Countries,” 12–13 November 2009, Geneva
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Fischer, A.M. (2009). The Perils of Paradigm Maintenance in the Face of Crisis. ISS Staff Group 4: Rural Development, Environment and Population. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/31406