Bureaucratic Charisma in Embedded Liberalism. International Monetary Cooperation at the OECD (1960-1985)
Gayon, Vincent (2022), Bureaucratic Charisma in Embedded Liberalism. International Monetary Cooperation at the OECD (1960-1985), 34th SASE Annual Meeting: Fractious Connections: Anarchy, Activism, Coordination, and Control, 2022-07, Amsterdam, Pays-Bas
TypeCommunication / Conférence
Conference title34th SASE Annual Meeting: Fractious Connections: Anarchy, Activism, Coordination, and Control
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Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Sciences Sociales [IRISSO]
Abstract (EN)The political sociology undertaken in this article seeks to shed light on the practical and conflicting content of post-war "embedded liberalism" and its disintegration, by following the trajectory of an emblematic senior official of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) who became "Special Economic Adviser" to the Secretary-General and has been erased from official historical accounts since he was designated persona non grata in 1983 at the height of the Reagan-Thacker era: Stephen Marris. By unearthing this singular trajectory, the research challenge is to grasp the evolving economy of support for this "bureaucratic charisma", or the "charisma of function" as Max Weber says, both within the OECD Secretariat and in the networks of consolidation that run through it and involve the monetary and financial bureaucracies of the member states, segments of the academic field, and other international secretariats. The social dynamics of bureaucratic domination in these social spaces are thus clarified, as well as the dynamics of institutional change, including the erasure of certain positions of authority.By following Marris' rise to prominence until it came to an abrupt halt, the study identifies the (dis)positional sources of his bureaucratic charisma, recognized internally and long supported by the delegations. It then looks at the situational side of his role to (re)shape the economic cooperation within Working Party 3 (WP3) of the OECD's Economic Policy Committee, a novel Keynesian trans-governmental network that is as little known as it is strategic for administering the external value of currencies. Finally, the article examines how support for his charismatic function grew during the "oil crisis", before collapsing in the configuration opened up by the Thatcher-Kohl-Reagan triumvirate, which ratified the liberalization of international capital movements, the floating exchange rate system and the financialization of the currency.Placed at an unprecedented trans-governmental crossroads, the charismatic position studied provides an opportunity to understand the transformations of the post-war international monetary order in arenas that are little known and beyond the reach of democratic debate because of the technicality (sometimes maintained) and confidentiality of their debates. This research reinscribes the advent of neoliberalism in concrete intergovernmental arenas, while taking seriously the contingent character of the result achieved and the Keynesian strategies of adaptation, especially monetary.
Subjects / Keywordsbureaucratie; libéralisme; sociologie politique
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