The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism


Edited by: Damien Cahill, Melinda Cooper, Martijn Konings & David Primrose

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Perspectives

    Part II: Sources

    Part III: Variations and Diffusions

    Part IV: The State

    Part V: Social and Economic Restructuring

    Part VI: Cultural Dimensions

    Part VII: Neoliberalism and Beyond

  • Copyright

    List of Figures

    Notes on the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Damien Cahill is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. His research examines the dynamics of neoliberalism as well as theories of capitalism as a socially embedded system of value production. His publications include: The End of Laissez-Faire? On the Durability of Embedded Neoliberalism (Edward Elgar, 2014) and Neoliberalism, with Martijn Konings (Polity Press, 2017).

    Melinda Cooper is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Life as Surplus: Biotechnology and Capitalism in the Neoliberal Era (University of Washington Press, 2008), Clinical Labour: Tissue Donors and Research Subjects in the Global Bioeconomy, with Catherine Waldby (Duke University Press, 2014), and Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism (Zone Books, 2017). She is co-editor, with Martijn Konings, of the Stanford University Press book series, ‘Currencies: New Thinking for Financial Times'.

    Martijn Konings is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He is the author of The Development of American Finance (Cambridge University Press, 2011), The Emotional Logic of Capitalism: What Progressives Have Missed (Stanford University Press, 2015), Neoliberalism, co-authored with Damien Cahill (Polity Press, 2017) and Capital and Time: For a New Critique of Neoliberal Reason (Stanford University Press, 2018). He is co-editor, with Melinda Cooper, of the Stanford University Press book series, ‘Currencies: New Thinking for Financial Times'.

    David Primrose is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. Supported by a Research Training Program Stipend Scholarship and Merit Award Supplementary Scholarship, his research examines the relationship between behavioral economics, neoliberalism and the processes of depoliticization in public policy. He has previously published on the political economy of health, behavioural economics, inequality, biodiversity and infrastructure, and is also exploring issues relating to contemporary agri-food reform, development, technoscience, economic theory and neoliberalism.

    The Contributors

    Fikret Adaman is currently Professor of Economics at Boğaziçi University. His interests include history of economic thought, political ecology, political economy of Turkey, and the political economy of economic alternatives. His (joint) work has been published in Antipode, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Conservation Letters, Development and Change, Ecological Economics, European Journal of History of Economic Thought, Environmental Politics, Journal of Economic Issues, Journal of Peasant Studies, New Left Review, Social Science and Medicine and Voluntas. Since 2009, he has been acting as an expert of social policy to European Council.

    Lisa Adkins is Professor of Sociology at the University of Newcastle, Australia and Academy of Finland and Distinguished Professor at the University of Tampere and the University of Turku. Her contributions and interventions in the discipline of Sociology lie in the areas of economic sociology (especially the sociology of labour), social theory, feminist theory and the finance-society relation. Key publications include The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Working and Living in Contingency (with Maryanne Dever, 2016); Measure and Value (with Celia Lury, 2012); What is the Empirical? (with Celia Lury, 2009); Feminism After Bourdieu (with Bev Skeggs, 2005); Revisions: Gender and Sexuality in Late Modernity (2002) and Gendered Work (1995). She is joint Editor-in-Chief of Australian Feminist Studies (Routledge/Taylor & Francis).

    Sarah Babb is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Some recurring themes in her research include: the origins of economic ideas and their role in social change, the globalization of economic policy models, and how organizations are shaped by their environments. She is author of Managing Mexico: Economists from Nationalism to Neoliberalism (Princeton, 2001); and Behind the Development Banks: Washington Politics, World Poverty, and the Wealth of Nations (Chicago, 2009).

    David J. Bailey is Senior lecturer in Politics at the University of Birmingham. His teaching and research focus on how left parties, protest movements, and the political economy of capitalism each combine with and disrupt each other. He has recently published articles in Socio-Economic Review, British Journal of Political Science, New Political Economy, and Comparative European Politics. He has recently published a co-authored book, with Mònica Clua-Losada, Nikolai Huke and Olatz Ribera-Almandoz, which explores the role of refusal in the post-2008 global and European crises, titled Beyond defeat and austerity: Disrupting (the critical political economy of) neoliberal Europe (Routledge/RIPE Global Political Economy Series). Another recent book, Protest Movements and Parties of the Left, is published with Rowman and Littlefield International.

    Joshua Barkan is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Corporate Sovereignty: Law and Government under Capitalism and studies the historical and legal geographies of capitalism, sovereignty, and corporate power.

    Sam Binkley is Professor of Sociology at Emerson College, Boston. He has published articles on the historical and social production of subjectivity in varied contexts, chiefly through a theoretical engagement with the work of Michel Foucault, and an empirical interest in popular psychology. He is co-editor of Foucault Studies, and author of Getting Loose: Lifestyle Consumption in the 1970's (Duke University Press, 2007) and Happiness as Enterprise: An Essay on Neoliberal Life (SUNY, 2014). His current research considers the wider problematic of anti-racism, understood as governmental imperative.

    Kean Birch is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and member of the geography, Sociology, and Science and Technology Studies Graduate Programs at York University, Canada. He is also Senior Associate at the Innovation Policy Lab, University of Toronto, Canada and Associate Editor on the STS journal, Science as Culture. His recent books include: We Have Never Been Neoliberal (Zer0 Books, 2015); The Handbook of Neoliberalism (2016, Routledge–co-edited with Simon Springer and Julie MacLeavy); Innovation, Regional Development and the Life Sciences: Beyond Clusters (Routledge, 2016); Business and Society: A Critical Introduction (2017, Zed Books—co-authored with Mark Peacock, Richard Wellen, Caroline Shenaz Hossein, Sonya Scott, and Alberto Salazar); and A Research Agenda for Neoliberalism (2017, Edward Elgar). He is currently working on a book called Neoliberal Bio-economies? The Co-construction of Markets and Natures for Palgrave Macmillan.

    Neil Brenner is Professor of Urban Theory at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. His most recent books are New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question (Oxford University Press, 2018); Critique of Urbanization (Bauwelt Fundamente Series/Birkhäuser Verlag, 2016); Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization (editor; Jovis, 2014), as well as several book-length collections of his writings recently published in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Chinese. Brenner is also the author of New State Spaces: Urban Governance and the Rescaling of Statehood (Oxford University Press, 2004) and the editor of several volumes on the need for a critical approach to urban questions, including Cities for People, Not for Profit (co-edited with M. Mayer and P. Marcuse; Routledge, 2011), and Spaces of Neoliberalism (co-edited with N. Theodore; Blackwell, 2003).

    June Carbone is the Robina Chair of Law, Science and Technology and Associate Dean for Research and Planning at the University of Minnesota. Previously she has served as the Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, the Constitution and Society at the University of Missouri at Kansas City, and Associate Dean for Professional Development and Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good at Santa Clara University School of Law. She received her J.D. from the Yale Law School, and her A.B. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She teaches Property, Family Law, and Assisted Reproduction and the Family. She has written From Partners to Parents: The Second Revolution in Family Law (Columbia University Press, 2000), the third, fourth and fifth editions of Family Law with Leslie Harris and the late Lee Teitelbaum (Aspen, 2005, 2009, 2014), Red Families v. Blue Families (Oxford University Press, 2010); Marriage Markets: How Inequality is Remaking the American Family (Oxford University Press, 2014), both with Naomi Cahn. She is a member of the Yale Cultural Cognition Project.

    Margaret Chiappetta is currently a PhD candidate in Science and Technology Studies at York University, Canada. Her doctoral research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and is focused on open science and intellectual property as it relates to pharmaceutical research and innovation. Previously, she completed an MA in Science and Technology Studies at the University of British Columbia, Canada.

    Nitsan Chorev is the Harmon Family Professor of Sociology and International & Public Affairs at Brown University. Among other publications, she is the author of Remaking U.S. Trade Policy: From Protectionism to Globalization (Cornell University Press, 2007) and of The World Health Organization between North and South (Cornell University Press, 2012). Her current research, which looks on local pharmaceutical production in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, explores the impact of foreign aid on industrial development from a comparative-historical perspective.

    David Coates holds the Worrell Chair in Anglo-American Politics at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, and previously taught at the universities of York, Leeds and Manchester in the UK. He has written extensively on UK labour politics, the comparative political economy of Anglo-American capitalism, and contemporary public policy in both the US and UK. His latest publications include Capitalism: The Basics (2015), Reflections on the Future of the Left (2017) and Flawed Capitalism: The Anglo-American Condition and Its Resolution (2018).

    Raewyn Connell is Professor Emerita at the University of Sydney and a Life Member of the National Tertiary Education Union. Recent books are Southern Theory (2007), about social thought in the postcolonial world; Confronting Equality (2011), about social science and politics; Gender: In World Perspective (3rd edn, with Rebecca Pearse, 2015) and El género en serio [Gender for Real] (2015). Raewyn's other books include Schools & Social Justice, Ruling Class Ruling Culture, Gender & Power, Masculinities, and Making the Difference. Her work has been translated into nineteen languages. She is the 2017 recipient of the American Sociological Association's Jessie Bernard Award. Details can be found at her website and on Twitter @raewynconnell.

    Nour Dados is a Research Associate at the University of Technology Sydney. She wrote about the social history of colonial modernity and urban space in Beirut for her PhD thesis (UTS, 2011). She has worked with Raewyn Connell on the theories and origins of neoliberalism with a focus on the intellectual work and historical experience of the Global South. She has previously worked as a researcher in the union movement and is currently working on a project about the changing composition of academic work and the university workforce.

    Gareth Dale teaches politics at Brunel University.

    Pierre Dardot is a philosopher and specialist in Hegel and Marx. Searcher in Université Paris Nanterre, he published with Christian Laval The New way of the world, On neoliberal society, (Verso, 2014), Marx, prénom: Karl (Gallimard, 2012), Commun, Essai sur la révolution au XXIe siècle (La Découverte, 2014) and more recently, Le cauchemar qui n'en finit pas, Comment le néolibéralisme défait la démocratie (La Découverte, 2016).

    Neil Davidson lectures in Sociology with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (2000), the Deutscher-Prize winning Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003), How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (2012 and 2017), Holding Fast to an Image of the Past (2014), We Cannot Escape History (2015) and Nation-States: Consciousness and Competition (2016). Davidson has also co-edited and contributed to a number of collections including Alasdair MacIntyre's Engagement with Marxism (2008), Neoliberal Scotland (2010) and The Longue Duree of the Far Right (2014).

    William Davies is Reader in Political Economy at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is author of The Happiness Industry: How the Government & Big Business Sold Us Wellbeing (Verso, 2015) and The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition(Sage, 2016).

    Mitchell Dean is Professor of Public Governance and Director of the Politics Research Group at the Copenhagen Business School. He was formerly Professor of Sociology at the University of Newcastle and Macquarie University, where he was also Dean of Division of Society, Culture, Media and Philosophy. His book Governmentality: Power and Rule in Modern Society (Sage, 1999, 2010) has been very widely cited, including in the first edition of Foucault's lectures on the topic and by the Oxford English Dictionary in its entry on Government. He has lectured widely in fifteen different countries. Among his recent books are State Phobia and Civil Society: the Political Legacy of Michel Foucault (with Kaspar Villadsen, Stanford University Press, 2016) and The Signature of Power: Sovereignty, Governmentality and Biopolitics (Sage, 2013).

    Tim Di Muzio is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Political Economy at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is author of The 1% and the Rest of Us, Carbon Capitalism and with Richard H. Robbins, Debt is Power and An Anthropology of Money: A Critical Introduction.

    Adam Fabry is a postdoctoral research fellow at CIECS-CONICET-UNC (Córdoba, Argentina).

    Jason Hackworth is a Professor of geography and planning at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on neoliberalism. He is currently writing a book about the intersections between ethno-racial conflict and urban decline.

    Petar Jandric´ is an educator and researcher. He published six books, dozens of scholarly articles and chapters, and numerous popular articles. Petar's works have been published in Croatian, English, Ukrainian, Spanish and Serbian. He regularly participates in national and international educational projects and policy initiatives. Petar's background is in physics, education and information science, and his research interests are situated at the post-disciplinary intersections between technologies, pedagogies and the society. Petar worked at Croatian Academic and Research Network, University of Edinburgh, Glasgow School of Art, and University of East London. At present he works as Professor and Director of BSc (Informatics) programme at the Zagreb University of Applied Sciences, and visiting Associate Professor at the University of Zagreb.

    Bob Jessop is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Co-Director of the Cultural Political Economy Research Centre at Lancaster University. He is best known for his contributions to state theory, critical governance studies, and the critique of political economy. In the last 20 years, he has been developing the cultural political economy approach to these issues and analysing variegated capitalism in the world market. He is currently researching civil society as a mode of governance and writing an introduction to cultural political economy. His most recent books are Towards a Cultural Political Economy (co-authored with Ngai-Ling Sum) (2013) and The State: Past, Present, Future (2015). He has also published many refereed journal articles and contributions to edited collections. Much of his work is freely available on his personal website,, as well as the usual academic social media.

    Alexander Kentikelenis is fellow in Sociology and Politics at the University of Oxford's Trinity College. He has published extensively on global governance issues, and on the social and political consequences of economic reforms and austerity. His book, Austerity without Safety Net, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

    Salmaan Keshavjee is the Director of Harvard Medical School's Center for Global Health Delivery-Dubai and Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He has worked extensively with Partners In Health (PIH) on the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Over the last 14 years has conducted clinical and implementation research in Russia (2000–present). Keshavjee was also the Deputy-Director for the PIH Lesotho Initiative (2006–2008), launching one of the first community-based treatment programs for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis/HIV co-infection in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Nicholas Kiersey is Associate Professor of Political Science at Ohio University. His work focuses on the role of subjectivity and crisis in the reproduction of capitalist power. Recently published articles of his can be found in the Journal of Critical Globalization Studies, Global Society, and Global Discourse. He is co-editor of the volume Battlestar Galactica and International Relations with Iver Neumann (Routledge, 2013). He is currently working on a book project on the Irish financial crisis, entitled Negotiating Crisis: Neoliberal Power in Austerity Ireland.

    Peter Kingstone is Professor of Politics and Development and co-founder of the Department of International Development at King's College London. He is author of several books on Latin America, including Crafting Coalitions for Reform: Business Preferences, Political Institutions and Neoliberal Reform in Brazil (1999), The Political Economy of Latin America: Reflections on Neoliberalism and Development (2010) as well as co-editor with Timothy Power of Democratic Brazil: Actors, Institutions and Processes (2000), Democratic Brazil Revisited (2008) and Democratic Brazil Divided (2017) as well as co-editor with Deborah Yashar of The Handbook of Latin American Politics (2012). He has published various articles and book chapters on the subject of democratization and the politics of neoliberal economic reforms.

    David M. Kotz is Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Distinguished Professor in the School of Economics at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. He is the author of The Rise and Fall of Neoliberal Capitalism, Harvard University Press, (paperback edition 2017), and Russia's Path from Gorbachev to Putin: The Demise of the Soviet System and the New Russia, with Fred Weir (Routledge, 2007). He is coeditor of Contemporary Capitalism and Its Crises: Social Structure of Accumulation Theory for the 21st Century, Cambridge University Press, 2010, with Terrence McDonough and Michael Reich. He has published articles in Review of Radical Political Economics, Science and Society, Monthly Review, World Review of Political Economy, and International Critical Thought.

    Christian Laval is Professor of sociology in Université Paris Nanterre, author of several books on Utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham and Homo economicus. His work is also concerned with the transformations of educational policies and schools. He published with Pierre Dardot The New way of the world, On neoliberal society, (Verso, 2014), Marx, prénom: Karl (Gallimard, 2012), Commun, Essai sur la révolution au XXIe siècle (La Découverte, 2014) and more recently, Le cauchemar qui n'en finit pas, Comment le néolibéralisme défait la démocratie (La Découverte, 2016).

    Yahya M. Madra teaches Economics at Drew University, Madison, NJ. He is a member of the editorial boards of Rethinking Marxism and Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. He has published and co-authored articles on various issues in political economy and on the history of recent economics in edited book volumes and academic journals, such as Development and Change, Antipode, Journal of Economic Issues, and European Journal of History of Economic Thought. His research interests are the intellectual history of neoliberal thought in economics, the intersection between Marxism and psychoanalysis, and the political economy of economic alternatives. His first monograph titled Late Neoclassical Economics: Restoration of Theoretical Humanism in Contemporary Economic Theory is now available from Routledge (July 2016). Currently he is working (with Ceren Özselçuk) on a book manuscript tentatively titled, Sexuating Class: A Psychoanalytical Critique of Political Economy.

    Tomas Marttila is Lecturer in Sociology at the LMU Munich (Germany). He studied political science and economic history at University of Lund (Sweden) and University College Dublin (Ireland). He was from 2005 to 2015, PhD fellow and researcher at the University of Bamberg (Germany). At present he works as senior lecturer in sociology at the Ludwig-Maximilian Uiversity in Munich. His recent publications include The Culture of Enterprise in Neoliberalism (Routledge, 2013) and Post-Foundational Discourse Analysis (Palgrave, 2015). He is currently working on an edited volume Discourse, Culture, Organization: Inquiries into Relational Structures of Power (Palgrave, 2018).

    Margit Mayer has been Professor for comparative and North American politics at Freie Universität Berlin, and as of 2014 she is senior fellow at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at Technical University Berlin. Her research focuses on comparative, urban and social politics as well as social movements. She has published on various aspects of contemporary urban politics, urban theory (welfare), state restructuring and social movements. She co-authored Nonprofits in the Transformation of Employment Policies (2004), co-edited Urban Movements in a Globalising World (2000), Cities for People not for Profit (2012), and Neoliberal Urbanism and Its Contestations (2012). Her co-edited volume on Urban Uprisings: Challenging Neoliberal Urbanism in Europe was published in 2016.

    Kim Moody was a founder of Labor Notes, author of several books on US labor, including In Solidarity: Essays on Working-Class Organization in the United States and On New Terrain: How Capital is Reshaping the Battleground of Class War, both from Haymarket. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Westminster in London, UK.

    Edward Nik-Khah is Professor of Economics at Roanoke College. He has previously completed research on the history of Chicago neoliberalism, economics imperialism, and market design, for which he won the K. William Kapp Prize from the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy. He is co-editor (with Robert Van Horn) of The Contributions of Business to Economics (History of Political Economy, Special Issue, Duke University Press 2017). His book (co-authored with Philip Mirowski) The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information (Oxford University Press, 2017) examines the history of information in modern economics.

    Pat O'Malley is Distinguished Honorary Professor in the Research School of the Social Sciences at the Australian National University. Previously he was Canada Research Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice in Ottawa, and Professorial Research Fellow in Law at the University of Sydney. For the last 25 years he has researched and published extensively on the role and impact of risk as a framework of government. Relevant publications include Crime and Risk (Sage, 2010) and The Currency of Justice (Routledge, 2009). Current research is focusing on the implications of technologies of the virtual for criminal justice and criminology.

    Mark Olssen is Professor of Political Theory and Education Policy in the Department of Political, International and Policy Studies, University of Surrey. His most recent books are Toward A Global Thin Community: Nietzsche, Foucault and the cosmopolitan commitment (Paradigm Publishers, Boulder, Colorado, 2009), and Liberalism, Neoliberalism, and Social Democracy (Routledge, New York, 2009). Other recent books include Michel Foucault: Materialism and Education (Paradigm Press, 2006); with John Codd and Anne-Marie O'Neill, Education Policy: Globalisation, Citizenship, Democracy, (Sage, London, 2004); an edited volume Culture and Learning: Access and Opportunity in the Classroom (IAP Press, New York); with Michael Peters and Colin Lankshear, Critical Theory and the Human Condition: Founders and Praxis, and from Rowman and Littlefield, New York, Futures of Critical Theory: Dreams of Difference, also with Michael Peters and Colin Lankshear. He has published extensively in leading academic journals in Britain, America and in Australasia.

    Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy, Distinguished University Scholar, and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Canada. His long-term research interests are concerned with urban restructuring, geographical political economy, labor studies, the politics of policy formation and mobility, and economic geography. Recent books include Offshore: Exploring the worlds of global outsourcing (Oxford, 2017); Fast Policy: Experimental statecraft at the thresholds of neoliberalism (Minnesota, 2015, with Nik Theodore); Constructions of Neoliberal Reason (Oxford, 2010); and the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography (Wiley, 2012, coedited with Trevor Barnes & Eric Sheppard). A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and previously the holder of Guggenheim and Harkness fellowships, Jamie Peck is the Editor-in-Chief of the Environment and Planning series of journals.

    Michael A. Peters is Professor of Education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand and Emeritus Professor in Educational Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. He is the executive editor of the journal, Educational Philosophy and Theory, and founding editor of five international journals. His interests are in philosophy, education and social policy and he has written over eighty books, including most recently The Digital University (2017), with Petar Jandric´. He has acted as an advisor to governments and UNESCO on these and related matters in the USA, Scotland, NZ, South Africa and the EU. He was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of NZ in 2010 and awarded honorary doctorates by State University of New York (SUNY) in 2012 and University of Aalborg in 2015.

    Sean Phelan is Associate Professor at the School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. He teaches and researches in critical media and communication studies. He is the author of Neoliberalism, Media and the Political (2014) and the co-editor (with Lincoln Dahlberg) of Discourse Theory and Critical Media Politics.

    Dieter Plehwe is a senior fellow at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Department Inequality and Social Policy. His research is in the field of international and cultural political economy, history of economic ideas and neoliberalism as well as public policy and governance. He was a fellow at the Harvard Center for European Studies and at the NYU Center for Advanced Studies. He taught at Yale University, Vienna University, and Free University Berlin. He serves as an editor of the Journal Critical Policy Studies. His contributions to the field of neoliberalism studies include Liberalism and the Welfare State (Oxford University Press 2017, co-edited with Roger Backhouse, Bradley Bateman, Tamotsu Nishizawa), Roads from Mont Pèlerin (Harvard University Press, 2009, co-edited with Phil Mirowski) and Neoliberal Hegemony: A global critique (Routledge, 2006, co-edited with Bernhard Walpen and Gisela Neunhöffer). He has launched the collaborative research platform on think tank networks (

    John Quiggin is an Australian Laureate Fellow in Economics at the University of Queensland. He is prominent both as a research economist and as a commentator on Australian and international economic policy. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and many other learned societies and institutions. His latest book, Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk Among Us, was released in 2010 by Princeton University Press, and has been translated into eight languages.

    Julian Reid was educated in London (B.A., First Class Honours, 1996), Amsterdam (M.Phil, 1998) and Lancaster (Ph.D., 2004). He has taught International Relations at the Universities of London, Sussex, and Lapland, where he has occupied the Chair in International Relations since 2010. He was a Visiting Professor in Politics at the University of Bristol (2013–2014) and a Research Fellow at Virginia Tech (2017). He has written and co-written books titled Biopolitics of the War on Terror (2006), The Liberal Way of War (2009), Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously (2014), and The Neoliberal Subject (2016). He has coedited collections on The Biopolitics of Development (2013) and Deleuze & Fascism (2013). He is co-editor of the journal Resilience: Policies, Practices and Discourses. He is currently leading the Finnish Academy funded research project, Indigeneity in Waiting (2016–2020).

    João Rodrigues is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra and researcher at the Centre for Social Studies. He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester and his research interests include topics of political economy, from the history of neoliberalism to the financialization of capitalism in Portugal and the Eurozone crisis. He has published several works in these areas, including in academic journals such as Cambridge Journal of Economics, New Political Economy or Review of International Political Economy. He is also co-author of Ladrões de Bicicletas, a Portuguese blog on political economy, and member of the Editorial Board of Le Monde diplomatique–Portuguese edition.

    Magnus Ryner is Professor of International Political Economy and Head of the Department of European and International Studies at King's College London. His publications include Capitalist Restructuring, Globalisation and the Third Way: Lessons from the Swedish Model (Routledge, 2002); Poverty and the Production or World Politics: Unprotected Workers in the Global Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006 ed. with Matt Davies); as well as A Ruined Fortress? Neoliberal Hegemony and Transformation in Europe (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 ed.); Europe at Bay: In the Shadow of US Hegemony (Lynne Rienner, 2007); and The European Union and Global Capitalism: Origins, Development, Crisis (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) (the three latter with Alan Cafruny).

    Alfredo Saad-Filho is Professor of Political Economy at SOAS, University of London, and was a senior economic affairs officer at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. He has degrees in Economics from the Universities of Brasília (Brazil) and London (SOAS), and has taught in universities and research institutions in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mozambique, Switzerland and the UK. His research interests include the political economy of development, industrial policy, neoliberalism, democracy, alternative economic policies, Latin American political and economic development, inflation and stabilization, and the labour theory of value and its applications.

    Vivien A. Schmidt is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration, Professor of International Relations and Political Science in the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, and Founding Director of BU's Center for the Study of Europe. Professor Schmidt has published widely in European political economy, institutions and democracy, as well as on neo-institutional theory (discursive institutionalism). Recent books include Resilient Liberalism in Europe's Political Economy (Cambridge, co-edited with M. Thatcher, 2013), Democracy in Europe (Oxford, 2006) – named in 2015 by the European Parliament as one of the ‘100 Books on Europe to Remember’ – and The Futures of European Capitalism (Oxford, 2002). Recent honours and awards include an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels, the Belgian Franqui Interuniversity Chair for foreign scholars, a research fellowship from the European Commission (DG ECFIN), and co-investigator on a multi-year EU HORIZON 2020 Grant. Her forthcoming book is entitled: Europe's Crisis of Legitimacy: Governing by Rules and Ruling by Numbers in the Eurozone.

    Aaron Shakow is Director of the Initiative on Healing and Humanity at Harvard Medical School's Center for Global Health Delivery – Dubai. He has also served as Associate Director of the Non-Communicable Disease program at the Boston-based NGO Partners In Health and as a policy advisor in the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS Department, focusing on health financing mechanisms. Shakow has taught History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard College, and Brandeis University. His forthcoming book, Marks of Contagion: How Bubonic Plague and Mediterranean Quarantine Inspired the Neoliberal Security State, explores the evolution of global norms of public health, human rights, and migration control.

    Sanford F. Schram teaches at Hunter College, CUNY where he is Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. He also teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center. His published books include Words of Welfare: The Poverty of Social Science and the Social Science of Poverty (1995) and Disciplining the Poor: Neoliberal Paternalism and the Persistent Power of Race (2011) – co-authored with Joe Soss and Richard Fording. Both books won the Michael Harrington Award from the American Political Science Association. His latest book is The Return to Ordinary Capitalism: Neoliberalism, Precarity, Occupy (Oxford University Press, 2015). Schram is the 2012 recipient of the Charles McCoy Career Achievement Award from the Caucus for a New Political Science.

    Simon Springer is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria, Canada. His research agenda explores the political, social, and geographical exclusions that neoliberalization has engendered, particularly in post-transitional Cambodia, where he emphasizes the spatialities of violence and power. Simon's books include The Discourse of Neoliberalism: An Anatomy of a Powerful Idea (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), Violent Neoliberalism: Development, Discourse and Dispossession in Cambodia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and Cambodia's Neoliberal Order: Violence, Authoritarianism, and the Contestation of Public Space (Routledge, 2010). He is the lead editor of The Handbook of Neoliberalism (Routledge, 2016). He also serves as Managing Editor of ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies and is co-editor of the Transforming Capitalism book series published by Rowman & Littlefield.

    Daniel Stedman Jones is a Historian of modern America and Britain and a practising barrister in London specializing in public and administrative law. He completed his doctorate on transatlantic neoliberalism at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009. He is author of Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012).

    Erik Swyngedouw is Professor of Geography at Manchester University. His research interests include urban political-ecology, hydro-social conflict, urban governance, democracy and political power, and the politics of globalization. His was previously professor of geography at Oxford University and held the Vincent Wright Visiting Professorship at Science Po, Paris, 2014. He recently co-edited (with Japhy Willson) The Post-Political and its Discontents: Spectres of Radical Politics Today (Edinburgh University Press, 2014) and is author of Liquid Power (MIT, 2015), a book that focuses on water and social power in 20th century Spain. His forthcoming books are Promises of the Political (MIT, 2015) and, co-edited with H. Ernstson, Urban Political Ecology in the Anthropo-obscene (Routledge, 2017).

    Nik Theodore is Professor of Urban Planning and Policy and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Chicago. His current research pursuits include the study of urban economic restructuring, labor market change, urban informality, and worker organizing. Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism, his co-authored book with Jamie Peck, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2015. With Neil Brenner he is the editor of Spaces of Neoliberalism: Urban Restructuring in North America and Western Europe, Blackwell, 2003. Nik is editor-in-chief of Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography.

    David Tyfield is a Reader in Environmental Innovation and Sociology at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, UK. He is Executive Director of the Joint Institute of the Environment, Guangzhou, China and Co-Director of the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University. His research examines the interaction of political economy, social change and developments in science, technology and innovation, with a focus on low-carbon transition in China. Recent publications feature in Science as Culture, Energy Research & Social Science, Sociology of Science Yearbook, Sustainable Development, Mobilities, Journal of Responsible Innovation, Minerva, Science, Technology & Human Values and special issues of Mobilities and Theory, Culture & Society. He is author of The Economics of Science (Routledge, 2012 in 2 volumes) and Liberalism 2.0 and the Rise of China: Global Crisis, Innovation and Urban Mobility (Routledge, 2017), lead editor of the Routledge Handbook of the Political Economy of Science and co-editor of Mobilities journal.

    Robert Van Horn is Associate Professor of Economics at University of Rhode Island. His research has primarily focused on the history of the postwar Chicago School and the contributions of business to economics. He is co-editor (with Edward Nik-Khah) of The Contributions of Business to Economics (History of Political Economy, Special Issue, Duke University Press, 2017) and co-editor (with Philip Mirowski and Thomas Stapleford) of Building Chicago Economics (Cambridge University Press, 2011). History of Political Economy, Journal of History of Economic Thought, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Journal of Economic Education, Social Studies of Science, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, among others, have published his work.

    Miguel Vatter is Professor of government at Flinders University, Australia. His main areas of research are republicanism, political theology, and biopolitics. Among his most recent books are The Republic of the Living. Biopolitics and the Critique of Civil Society (Fordham UP, 2014) and with Vanessa Lemm (eds.), The Government of the Living. Foucault, Biopolitics, and Neoliberalism (Fordham UP, 2014).

    Isabella M. Weber is a Lecturer in Economics at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her book ‘China's Escape from the “Big Bang”: The Great 1980s Reform Debate in Historical Perspective’ is forthcoming from Routledge. Her work on the intellectual underpinnings of China's economic transformation combines ethnographic research with economic history and theory. A recipient of the Cambridge Trust's Vice Chancellor Award, European Recovery Programme (ERP) fellowship, the German National Academy scholarship, and the German China Scholarship, Isabella has conducted her PhD research at the University of Cambridge and Tsinghua University and holds an M.A. and M.Phil. in Economics from the New School for Social Research, New York.

    Owen Worth teaches International Political Economy and International Politics at the University of Limerick, Ireland. He is the author of Hegemony, International Political Economy and Post-Communist Russia (Ashgate), Resistance in the Age of Austerity (Zed Books), and Rethinking Hegemony (Palgrave). He is a co-director of the Conference of Socialist Economists and is the chair of the Editorial Board of Capital and Class.

    Robert Yates is Project Director of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Policy Forum at Chatham House. An economist with expertise in health financing, his principal area of expertise is in the political economy of UHC, with a focus on advising political leaders and government ministries on how to plan, finance and implement national UHC reforms. He has previously worked as a senior health economist with the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the World Health Organization (WHO), advising numerous governments in Asia and Africa on health financing policy and health system reforms. Currently, a major interest of Yates is helping countries replace inefficient and inequitable private financing mechanisms, such as user fees, with more efficient and fairer public mechanisms.

    Brigitte Young is Professor (em.) of International Political Economy at the University of Muenster, Germany, and has been an expert advisor to the EU-Commission, DG Research and Innovation since 2008. She was awarded the Kaethe-Leichter State Prize of Austria for 2016. Her research focuses on global financial market governance and monetary policy, European economic and monetary integration, German finance and economic policies; and feminist economics. Her most recent (co-edited) book is on Financial Cultures and Crisis Dynamics, (Routledge, 2015); a Special Issue on German Ordoliberalism, European Review of International Studies, Volume 2/2015; and ‘Imaginaries of German Economic Success: Is the Current Model Sustainable? Near Futures Online 1 “Europe at a Crossroads”, (March, 2016). She has held guest professorship at many different universities (Central European University, Budapest; Free University, Berlin; Science Po in Paris and Lille; and at the University of Warwick.

    Naming Neoliberalism

    Only rarely, it seems, does neoliberalism actually speak its name. A deeply entrenched and normalized policy paradigm-cum-ideological commonsense, neoliberalism nevertheless remains quite perplexingly elusive. According to some accounts virtually omnipresent, neoliberalism has no fixed address. Some see the malign effects of this free-market credo all over the place; there are others who claim that it is no more than a political apparition, or some figment of the left imagination. Debates around the origins, reach, direction, and ultimate fate of neoliberalism are hardly any less fierce today than they were back in the 1970s and early 1980s, when an identifiable family of context-specific ‘neoliberalisms’ first began to take shape – as concerted state projects and (anti)social programs – in locations like Chile, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Pronouncements of the death of neoliberalism, while in each case misconceived or premature, have been around for more than a quarter-century now too. Meanwhile, the veritable explosion in social-scientific deployments of the term neoliberalism has been rather curiously belated – picking up only in the period since the late 1990s, in part through critiques of orthodox globalization narratives, the follies of deregulation, and the failures of structural adjustment, but also paralleling the rise of global justice movements. It should come as no surprise, then, that this rascal signifier remains contested, divisive, controversial, and for some, downright confusing. As a critics’ term, its purchase can seem tenuous and one-sided.

    On those rare occasions when some are prepared to ‘come out’ as neoliberals, there are consequently reasons to be grateful – not least because these can serve as navigational coordinates of sorts for those attempting to plot this ceaselessly shifting terrain. The functionally neoliberal Economist magazine has, from time to time, contemplated reclaiming the unloved moniker, evidently irked at an almost entirely pejorative (if not derogatory) pattern of usage in the hands of a motley crew of intellectual critics and political foes. Yet the magazine prefers to remain wryly aloof. Not the free-market comrades at the Adam Smith Institute (ASI), however. Despite being there at the birth of Thatcherism and for decades an arch advocate of privatization and deregulation, the London-based free-market think-tank has only recently decided that it is time to wear the neoliberal badge with pride. ‘Nothing has changed about what we believe about the world,’ Sam Bowman of ASI has written, ‘[but] after thinking about it and discussing it among ourselves we decided that this was a clearer label for what we already believe and do.’ Here, from the free-market horse's mouth as it were, neoliberalism denotes a positive political-economic posture, one that is:

    • Pro-markets
    • Pro-property rights
    • Pro-growth
    • Individualistic
    • Empirical and open-minded
    • Globalist in outlook
    • Optimistic about the future
    • Focused on changing the world for the better (Bowman, 2016: 1).

    As neoliberals loud and proud, the ideational activists at ASI stand resolutely, as one would expect, for low taxes, free trade, competition, choice, and private initiative in the delivery of public services; they are fine with ‘some measure of government', just as long as it is ‘built on market-based lines'; and they purport to see the world (and their place within it) as clear-thinking and intellectually consistent pragmatists, favoring ‘experimentation and evidence’ over dogmatism or unbending ‘ideological purity’ (Bowman, 2016: 1).

    While there are evidently some in the class of London intellectuals who have decided that it is time to come out as neoliberals, over in Beijing there have been no less strenuous efforts to ensure that neoliberalism remains firmly in the closet, or at least safely sequestered as an offshore other. In 2013, a leaked edict from the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party known as Document 9, which was concerned with ‘noteworthy problems related to the current state of the ideological sphere', sought to refine the party line by railing against an externalized version of the ‘market omnipotence theory'. Framed as a corrupting Western construction, neoliberalism is portrayed here as a program antithetical to the cause of Sino-socialism:

    Neoliberalism advocates unrestrained economic liberalization, complete privatization, and total marketization and it opposes any kind of interference or regulation by the state. Western countries, led by the United States, carry out their Neoliberal agendas under the guise of ‘globalization', visiting catastrophic consequences upon Latin America, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe, and have also dragged themselves into the international financial crisis from [which] they have yet to recover. (ChinaFile, 2013: 4–5)

    Paradoxically, these demands for ideological purification from the party leadership have coincided with a practical redoubling of pro-market reform efforts under President Xi Jinping, as increasingly restive political conditions have accompanied the faltering slowdown of China's growth model. This prompted Daniel Drezner (2013: 4) to wonder aloud ‘how Xi was going to [be able to] reconcile a critique of neoliberalism while pushing … er … neoliberal-friendly reforms onto China's economy'.

    Another sign, perhaps, of ‘problems [in] the ideological sphere’ has to be the curious alignment of the Document-9 doctrine of the Chinese Communist Party with the revisionist stance of prominent figures within a visibly splintering Washington consensus, now that a group of senior economists at the International Monetary Fund have broken with their organization's party line, autocritiquing what they now recognize as a proneness to self-deluding ‘groupthink’ and free-market ‘intellectual capture', while daring to question central tenets of the neoliberal policy orthodoxy itself, such as capital-market liberalization and public-sector austerity (IEO-IMF, 2011; Ostry et al., 2016). Confronting the now well-established facts that programs of neoliberalization have wrought rising social inequality, increases in social exclusion, and (even) suppressed rates of economic growth, these IMF economists have been moved to proclaim publicly, if belatedly, that policymakers ‘must [now] be guided not by faith, but by evidence of what has worked', even as they acknowledge that their dissenting position remains a minority one within the organs of the Washington consensus (Ostry et al., 2016: 41; see also Donnan, 2016). True indeed, there are many at the IMF, the World Bank, and in commanding heights who continue to trumpet the supposed benefits of trade liberalization, open borders, and financial integration, more recently in the face of resurgent currents of protectionism, nativism, and nationalism in the United States and in parts of Europe – clearly fearful that the project of free-market globalization is being challenged as never before. Most conspicuously, consensus seems to be in especially short supply in Washington, DC itself, as the Trump administration has ignited a bonfire of regulations at home while threatening to careen into all manner of wars, economic and otherwise, abroad. Once more, some are jumping to the conclusion that this might be a(nother) terminal crisis for neoliberalism, while others believe that they are witnessing an authoritarian course adjustment, an extended legitimacy crisis, or the onset of some otherwise unclassifiable interregnum (see Fraser, 2017). Business as usual, quite clearly, it is not, but the flexible credo of neoliberalism has never been reducible to that.

    And so it goes on. The task of placing, parsing, and positioning neoliberalism continues – a task that the contributors to this volume engage with dexterity, perspective, and creativity. They take aim at a still-moving target, one that will not be fixed or easily pegged, but on the other hand still cannot be ignored. In their various ways, the contributors name and confront neoliberalism at a time when some of its longtime advocates are coming out, others seem to be beating a retreat, and still others are striking out in radically new directions. The resulting map of neoliberalization keeps on moving. Pocket guides, we have learned, are inadequate for the task of tracking this always variegated and persistently terraforming process. The Sage Handbook of Neoliberalism, in this respect, is both timely and necessary. In these times of confusion in the ideological sphere, who knows who might find a need to consult it?

    Bowman, Sam (2016) Coming out as neoliberals. Adam Smith Institute blog, October 11. Available at
    ChinaFile (2013) Document 9. ChinaFile, November 8. Available at
    Donnan, Shawn (2016) IMF economists put ‘neoliberalism’ under the spotlight. Financial Times, May 26, 8.
    Drezner, Daniel W. (2013) The political economy of document number nine. Foreign Policy, August 20. Available at
    Fraser, Nancy (2017) The end of progressive neoliberalism. Dissent, January 2. Available at
    IEO-IMF (Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund) (2011) IMF Performance in the Run-up to the Financial and Economic Crisis. Washington, DC: IEO-IMF.
    Ostry, Jonathan D., Loungani, Prakash and Furceri, Davide (2016) Neoliberalism: oversold? Finance and Development, June, 3841.

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