The End of Protest

How Free-Market Capitalism Learned to Control Dissent

by Alasdair Roberts

In The End of Protest, Alasdair Roberts explains how, in the modern age, governments learned to unleash market forces while also avoiding protest about the market’s failures. Roberts argues that in the last three decades, the two countries that led the free-market revolution—the United States and Britain—have invented new strategies for dealing with unrest over free market policies. The organizing capacity of unions has been undermined so that it is harder to mobilize discontent. The mobilizing potential of new information technologies has also been checked. Police forces are bigger and better equipped than ever before. And technocrats in central banks have been given unprecedented power to avoid full-scale economic calamities.

Tracing the histories of economic unrest in the United States and Great Britain from the nineteenth century to the present, The End of Protest shows that governments have always been preoccupied with the task of controlling dissent over free market policies. But today’s methods pose a new threat to democratic values. For the moment, advocates of free-market capitalism have found ways of controlling discontent, but the continued effectiveness of these strategies is by no means certain.

Alasdair Roberts is the Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also a Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Public Administration. He is the author of America’s First Great Depression, also from Cornell, The Logic of Discipline, and Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age.

Metadata

  • isbn
    978-0-8014-7003-5
  • publisher
    Cornell University Press
  • publisher place
    Ithaca, NY
  • restrictions
    Copyright © Cornell University. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher.
  • rights holder
    Cornell University