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neoliberalism


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It seems generally to be agreed that this term refers to the liberalizing of global markets associated with the reduction of state power: state interventions in the economy are minimized; privatization, finance, and market processes are emphasized; capital controls and trade restrictions are eased; free markets, free trade, and free enterprise are the buzzwords. Beyond that, definitions become more partial; D. Harvey (2005), for example, speaks of ‘the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action…[the reduction of] the obligations of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens…unfettered individual rights’. A. Tickell and J. Peck (2006) argue that neoliberalization refers to ‘the process of political-economic change’. Neoliberalism, they contend, ‘is not a monolithic phenomenon, but produces its own geography’. ‘Neoliberalism, in its changing forms, is playing a part in the reconstruction of extralocal relations, pressures, and disciplines’ (Peck and Tickell (2002) Antipode 34, 3). Peck (2002) J. Econ. Geog. 2, 2 argues that ‘both the institutional durability and the political tenacity of neoliberalism may have been underestimated’. D. Harvey (2005) argues that privatization writ large, financialization (sic), the skilful manipulation of crises practically and discursively to spread ‘market rule’, and state redistributions to the private sector and the rich have been neoliberalism's modus operandi. Do see Roberts et al. (2003) Antipode 35, 5.

Case studies of the impacts of neoliberalism abound; see, for example: Budds (2004) Sing. J. Trop. Geog. 25, on Chile; McCarthy (2006) AAAG96, 1 on British Columbia; Ryan and Herod (2006) Antipode 38, 3 on Australia and Aotearoa; Gökarkisel and Mitchell (2005) Global Networks 5, 2 on Turkey; Fisher (2006) Soc. Justice 33 on race, neoliberalism, and ‘welfare reform’ in Britain; and Emery (2006) Soc. Justice 33, 3 on contesting neoliberalism in South Africa. See Liverman and Vilas (2006) Ann. Rev. Env. & Resources 31 on neoliberalism and the environment.

Attention has also been paid to governance/governmentalities of neoliberalism: see Larner and Butler (2005) Studs Polit. Econ. 75 on New Zealand; McCarthy (2004) Geoforum 35, 3. Spaces of neoliberalism are addressed by N. Brenner and N. Theodore, eds (2003), INITIAL Basu (2004), W. Larner and W. Walters (2004); and scales of neoliberalism by Kohl and WarnerInt. J. Urb. & Reg. Research 28, 4.

Subjects: Social Sciences — Earth Sciences and Geography.


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