Political Aspects of Macroeconomic Policies and Growth Models

The Great Recession dragged macroeconomic policies from the technocratic realm of “quiet politics” into the electoral realm of “noisy politics”. Still, comparative political economy has not adequately studied the politics of macroeconomic policies in the twenty-first century. It lacks a clear understanding of how the distributive consequences of different macroeconomic policies translate into political struggles over power and policies. This research project thus studies the political conflicts behind macroeconomic policies and growth models. It assumes that the economy is not isolated from electoral competition in liberal democracies and that different routes to growth can be politically contested. Therefore, the project analyses how economic interests are aggregated into political coalitions that rally around different economic policies. Specifically, it studies social and political conflicts over macroeconomic policies in the advanced economies from 1985 to 2015 and aims to answer three research questions: (1) To what extent are macroeconomic policies contested among voters? (2) How and why do different political actors support or oppose different macroeconomic policies? (3) How do these actors legitimize support for their preferred policies among voters?