Estudos Avançados, 23 (66): 7-23.
State and market are complementary institutions. The state is the major institution coordinating modern societies it is the constitutional system and the organizations guaranteeing it it is the main instrument through which democratic societies have been changing capitalism so as to achieve their own agreed political objectives. Markets are institutions based on competition which the state regulates so that they contribute to the coordination of the economy. While liberalism emerged in the 18th century to fight an autocratic state, since the 1980s neoliberalism (a major distortion of economic liberalism) became dominant and mounted a political assault to the state in the name of the market, but eventually also attacked the market. Neoclassical macroeconomics and public choice theory were the meta-ideologies that gave to this assault a “scientific” and mathematical allure.