Author

Lance Mason

Date Approved

2009

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Member

Joe Bishop, PhD, Chair

Committee Member

Rebecca Martusewicz, EdD

Committee Member

Christopher Robbins, PhD

Abstract

This work examines the role of trade agreements and the Carter administration in promoting neoliberal policy in the United States. Policy-planning groups, with extensive connections to the U.S. government and transnational corporations, such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, played crucial roles in pushing neoliberal policies at the government level. The development of unrestricted trade and the open flow of financial capital across borders have allowed transnational corporations to divorce themselves from the social contract, enabling them to disinvest in public life and to push for further disinvestment on the part of the larger society. Results show that both Democratic and Republican parties have been servants to the neoliberal corporate agenda for decades. The implication of this finding is that challenging neoliberalism means challenging the whole of U.S. government leadership, rather than, as many have argued, merely taking on the Right of American politics.

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