William Davies: A Bibliographic Review of Neoliberalism, Theory Culture and Society, 7 March 2014

The term ‘neoliberalism’ has become increasingly familiar over recent years. The term was relatively unheard-of until the 1990s, but was then adopted principally by the critics of a perceived free market orthodoxy, which was spreading around the world under the auspices of the ‘Washington Consensus’. The ‘anti-globalisation movement’, which rose to prominence with the 1999 Seattle protests against the World Trade Organisation, further advanced the pejorative sense of neoliberalism as a form of market fundamentalism, imposed upon developing nations by the United States government and multilateral institutions. The assumption underlying this account of neoliberalism was typically that it arose with the elections of ‘new right’ political leaders, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in particular, in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. But there was relatively little scholarly work done at this time on the longer history of neoliberal thought preceding that political shift.

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