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Pervasiveness and efficacy in regulatory governance : neo-liberalism as ideology and practice in European telecommunications reorganisation

Simpson, Seamus (2008) Pervasiveness and efficacy in regulatory governance : neo-liberalism as ideology and practice in European telecommunications reorganisation. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract

Telecommunications provides one of the most well-developed examples of the growth of neo-liberalism. The sector is interesting since the contrast between its pre neoliberal and post neo-liberal characteristics is particularly stark. This paper explores the impacts of neo-liberalism in European telecommunications, placing particular focus on the EU institutional context. It considers the conseqences of neo-liberalism as ideology, on the one hand, and practice, on the other. It finds that, ideologically, neoliberalism has become deeply pervasive in European telecommunications and for its advocates can be regarded as a highly successful project spanning almost 30 years. In terms of practice, the paper argues that the pursuit of neo-liberalism has been less successful. In particular, competition has proven complex and difficult to create and there are concerns over the ability of the neo-liberal model to provide sufficient investment to deliver new Next Generation Networks. However, these deficiencies tend to be under-played due to the ideological and rhetorical success of the neo-liberal project in telecommunications.

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