Where in the world does neoliberalism come from? The market agenda in southern perspective

Springer Verlag
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Theory and Society, 2014, 43 (2), pp. 117 - 138
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Neoliberalism is generally understood as a system of ideas circulated by a network of right-wing intellectuals, or as an economic system mutation resulting from crises of profitability in capitalism. Both interpretations prioritize the global North. We propose an approach to neoliberalism that prioritizes the experience of the global South, and sees neoliberalism gaining its main political strength as a development strategy displacing those hegemonic before the 1970s. From Southern perspectives, a distinct set of issues about neoliberalism becomes central: the formative role of the state, including the military; the expansion of world commodity trade, including minerals; agriculture, informality, and the transformation of rural society. Thinkers from the global South who have foregrounded these issues need close attention from the North and exemplify a new architecture of knowledge in critical social science.
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