Neoliberalism and the Future World

Author: Richard Robinson


The persistence of illiberal or predatory systems of political and social power in circumstances where neoliberal market economies have advanced rapidly is often explained in terms of the last-ditch resistance of vested interests, weak institutions, or an absence of social capital. In contrast, this study argues that these seeming paradoxes are often integral to a process of neoliberal reform in that they enable the expropriation of public assets and policy agendas necessary for the emergence and consolidation of powerful private interests. At another level, the rise of neoconservative policy agendas and the blurring of state-business relations within the neoliberal camp itself may be seen to undermine the epoch of neoliberalism. This article argues that the shift toward various manifestations of empire is a political response to crises designed to preserve those hegemonic relations established by neoliberal agendas. These various mutations of markets' predatory oligarchies, illiberal politics, and empire possess a substantial internal coherence.

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September 2004
© Jeff Kingston