Common Ground: Justifications of Neoliberal Tax Cuts in the US and Germany

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Titel: Common Ground: Justifications of Neoliberal Tax Cuts in the US and Germany
Autor(en): Rademacher, Inga
Erstgutachter: Prof. Dr. Armin Schäfer
Zweitgutachter: Prof. Dr. Sascha Münnich
Zusammenfassung: This dissertation explores why two countries with vastly different configurations in tax systems, electoral institutions and production regimes, Germany and the US, implemented similar tax reforms since the 1980s. I conducted a historical content analysis of tax debates in the American Congress and the German Bundestag to understand under which conditions the neoliberal paradigm was persuasive to majorities of policy makers in parliamentary bodies. I found that the prime movers, Ronald Reagan and Helmut Kohl, had serious issues implementing their tax plans due to massive protest that sparked among parliamentarians and later in civil society. This protest diminished in time and gave way to tax reforms which considerably shifted the tax burden from higher incomes and corporations to lower incomes and consumption in the early 2000s. I argue on the basis of the theory of discursive institutionalism that coherent narratives of normative and cognitive beliefs can become crucial in convincing parliamentarians of tax cuts for higher incomes and creating coalitions for institutional change. This coordinative discourse was more successful in the 2000s when George W. Bush and Gerhard Schröder were able to justify the tax reforms under consistent discrediting of social justice and a strong normative moralization of the tax reforms under the concepts of market justice. It took twenty years to shift the dominant normative discourse. But eventually a reinterpretation of the credibility of actors to comment on tax policy and a reconceptualization of the concept of tax policy itself as apolitical but moral in the realm of markets made the concept of neoliberal tax policy persuasive and it could transcend the boundaries of different national institutions.
Schlagworte: Tax cuts; ideas
Erscheinungsdatum: 5-Jun-2018
Publikationstyp: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:FB01 - E-Dissertationen

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