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Jamie Peck, Neil Brenner & Nik Theodore

In: The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism

Chapter 1: Actually Existing Neoliberalism

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Actually Existing Neoliberalism
Actually Existing Neoliberalism
Jamie Peck Neil Brenner Nik Theodore
Introduction: Definitions

The notion of ‘actually existing neoliberalism’ would hardly be necessary were it not for the marked but also constitutive discrepancies between the utopian idealism of free-market narratives and the checkered, uneven, and variegated realities of those governing schemes and restructuring programs variously enacted in the name of competition, choice, freedom, and efficiency. Understood as a ‘strong discourse’ deeply enmeshed with the primary circuits of financial, cultural, and corporate power (Bourdieu, 1998), neoliberalism tells a self-serving story of free markets and small states, selective deregulation and targeted reregulation, low taxes and lean administration, in which privatized and market-like arrangements are presented ...

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