This chapter examines the range of popular and academic meanings of neoliberalism, including its associations with the ‘Washington Consensus’ and with ‘Thatcherism’, as a prelude to proposing a political-economic definition of the phenomenon. Emphasis is placed on the uneven development of neoliberalism across geographical space and the temporal evolution of neoliberal ideology and practice. Neoliberalism has not diffused in an invariant form, but instead has developed in a geometric fashion, through the increasing global interpenetration of its contextually specific ‘local’ forms. The ontology of neoliberalism is presented here in terms of an evolving web of relays, routines, and relations of market-oriented political practices. In turn, this calls for a methodological strategy which draws attention, simultaneously, to the ‘connective tissues’ of the neoliberalization process and its conjuncturally specific manifestations. An adequate analysis of neoliberalism must therefore entail an historical geography of the phenomenon.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.