Deficit Discourse: The Social Construction of Fiscal Rectitude

  • Timothy J. Sinclair
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


Budget deficits are bad, very bad indeed. Creating them was indulgent; tolerating their continued existence, insufferable; reigning them in, imperative. Or so we are led to believe. The 1990s has been a decade of budget-cutting austerity and restructuring in most advanced industrialized countries. Great attention is directed to competitiveness as the liberalization of trade rules is extended further, and as governments seek to attract scarce financial capital (Gill and Law, 1989; Sinclair, 1992; Cerny, 1993; Krugman, 1994b). In many countries, government budget deficits have been identified by neo-liberal policy intellectuals as one of the leading causes of relatively lower growth rates and persistent unemployment (Williamson, 1994: 26). Deficit reduction has become a major priority for governments, and strategically important elements within many civil societies seem to support this objective.


Social Construction Budget Deficit Balance Budget World Order Moral Constraint 
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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Timothy J. Sinclair

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