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Green Neoliberalism

  • By: Brian J. Gareau
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Green neoliberalism is, in the simplest of terms, the idea of a convergence of the liberal desire to expand and intensify market forces and environmentally sustainable development for the global South. The phrase was coined by sociologist Michael Goldman to help explain how these two seemingly conflicting projects/ideologies have become institutionalized by global governing institutions, particularly—but not limited to—the World Bank. The implementation of green neoliberal strategies has led to “environmental states” that open themselves to market forces and the (self-)governance of subjects along neoliberal lines. Although still relatively new, the phrase has been applied to new areas of global environmental governance, including investigations of the Montreal Protocol.

To understand green neoliberalism, we must first understand neoliberalism. Neoliberalism and globalization are often used interchangeably, but this ...

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