The Evolution of the Neoliberal Hegemony in the Case of the European Union
Ceylan Topaç , Gamze
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Neoliberalism has become a mainstream economy by spreading to the world with the effect of globalization since 1980s. The neoliberal hegemony has been formed within the European Union through the mechanisms, criteria and restrictions affecting the monetary and fiscal policies of the member states during the integration process since the establishment of the European Union. The support of the transnational capitalist class is undeniably important in terms of formation of the neoliberal hegemony. However, the global crisis, which emerged in U.S. in 2008 and resulted in debt crisis in Europe, caused the neoliberal hegemony in the European Union to shrink and lose its effect. Within the scope of the fight against the global financial crisis, the insistence of neoliberal policies that did not bring any solutions, the negative impact of the austerity programmes imposed on the countries on the economic issues affecting the welfare level of Europeans, the failure to develop solution-oriented alternative policies and the decision of Britain to leave led the European Union to an existential crisis in the context of neoliberal hegemony crisis. With the decrease in strong belief of social powers supporting the European Union project, the repressive aspect of the hegemony emerged and the neoliberal policies which have become increasingly authoritarian have been implemented in many European countries.In this context, the discourse of racism and xenophobia, which emerged with the rise of far-right parties, contradicted the key values that the European Union has advocated since the establishment of the European Union and fueled the debate about the future of neoliberal hegemony in the European Union. The main purpose of the study is to contribute to the literature on the concepts of hegemony, neoliberalism and European debt crisis, to understandthe formation of neoliberal hegemony in the European Union from a historical perspective, the neoliberal hegemony crisis following the European debt crisis, the evolution of neoliberal hegemony to authoritarian neoliberal hegemony in the post-crisis period and to reveal the possible scenarios for the future of neoliberal hegemony. The study is limited to a European Union-specific review of the impact of the crisis on neoliberal hegemony based on the global financial crisis. Three possible scenarios for the future of neoliberal hegemony are; the re-establishment of neoliberal hegemony by abandoning the authoritarian neoliberalism, the end of neoliberal hegemony as a result of further authoritarianism and the re-establishment ofneoliberal hegemony by creating a fiscal union as well as the monetary union.