'When is a market not a market? ‘Exemption’, ‘externality’ and ‘exception’ in the case of European State Aid rules'

Davies, Will. 2013. 'When is a market not a market? ‘Exemption’, ‘externality’ and ‘exception’ in the case of European State Aid rules'. Theory Culture & Society, 30(2), pp. 32-59. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The reach of markets and market-based forms of valuation is never unlimited in any society, which invites empirical and political questions regarding how limits to markets are instituted, justified and enforced. Under neoliberalism, the state performs a key role in expanding the reach of markets and associated principles and techniques of valuation, using law and governmental techniques. But this then poses a question of the relationship between the neoliberal state and the market that it endorses and enforces: is the state internal or external to the market order that it helps to construct? European Union state aid rules provide an empirical entry point to consider such questions, providing a combination of normative, technical and sovereign principles, via which the division between state and market can be justified, tested and enacted. The article identifies three separate though overlapping logics within state aid documents, each of which offers the state a justification for suspending the competitive market order: exemptions, in which non-market values are upheld, externalities, in which markets are shown to be technically inefficient, and exceptions – such as the 2008 financial crisis – in which the state abandons the market to save the market.

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Date Deposited:

10 Aug 2015 09:36

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 10:16

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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