A set of philosophies and discourses emphasizing the importance of free markets to development and prosperity, neoliberalism emerged as the guiding rationale for a wide range of responses to declining levels of economic growth in the 1980s and 1990s. A term used largely by its critics, neoliberal philosophies combine elements of classical liberalism with those of social conservatism. This entry reviews the central concepts of neoliberal-ism and its evolution in the global North and South; examines the neoliberal perspective on relationships between the state, markets, and civil society more generally; and describes criticisms that have been directed at neoliberalism, particularly with respect to its impact on the poor.

The Development of Neoliberalism

Greatly influenced by the writings of the neoclassical economist Friedrich Hayek and, later, Milton Friedman, ...

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