Over the last two decades, 'neoliberalism' has emerged as a key concept within a range of social science disciplines including sociology, political science, human geography, anthropology, political economy, and cultural studies. The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism showcases the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship in this field by bringing together a team of global experts. Across seven key sections, the handbook explores the different ways in which neoliberalism has been understood and the key questions about the nature of neoliberalism: Part 1: Perspectives Part 2: Sources Part 3: Variations and Diffusions Part 4: The State Part 5: Social and Economic Restructuring Part 6: Cultural Dimensions Part 7: Neoliberalism and Beyond This handbook is the key reference text for scholars and graduate students engaged in the growing field of neoliberalism.
Chapter 1: Actually Existing Neoliberalism
Actually Existing Neoliberalism
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 ...