From Democratic Socialism To Neoliberalism: The Metamorphoses Of The People'S National Party In Jamaica
Abbreviated Journal Title
Stud. Comp. Int. Dev.
POLICY; International Relations; Planning & Development; Political Science
Why are leftist parties in government abandoning their state-led, redistributive economic development models in favor of market-determined neoliberal ones? Conventional explanations emphasize conditionality of international financial institutions. This argument, though, fails to account for differences in economic policy choices across countries or within a country over time. Analyzing the social democratic People's National Party of Jamaica during two periods when it accepted IMF-mandated neoliberal economic reform measures (1977-80 and 1989-present), an alternative approach is presented to illuminate why and how leftist governments switch economic policy programs. The two time periods show that IMF conditionality might be a necessary motivation for the adoption of neoliberal economic measures, but it is not sufficient motivation. I argue that the actual policies the PNP governments employed reflect changes in the relative influence of competing factions within the party. This approach, focusing on domestic actors rather than international ones to account for economic policy shifts, highlights the ways in which politicians can manipulate institutional rules to change the relative weight of different factions within the party to gain support for policy decisions that contradict the party's traditional social democratic ideology.
Studies in Comparative International Development
"From Democratic Socialism To Neoliberalism: The Metamorphoses Of The People'S National Party In Jamaica" (1996). Faculty Bibliography 1990s. 1801.