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Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Periodization and Critique

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/04/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>South Atlantic Quarterly
Issue number2
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)343-361
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Neoliberalism is variegated as different types of neoliberalism co-exist in a world market that is organized in the shadow of a neoliberalization process that began with neoliberal regime shifts in the USA and UK. This article provides a periodization of neoliberal regime shifts within this context, starting with their pre-history up to the point of no return and then tracing their roll-back, roll forward, blowback, ‘Third Way’, moments of financial crisis, and crisis of crisis-management phases. It argues that neoliberal regime shits were associated from their pre-history onwards with intertwined authoritarian populist and authoritarian statist discourses and practices. Nonetheless, the intensification and interaction of crisis-tendencies of different kinds in different phases and changing forms of resistance have led to an increasingly authoritarian statist form of neoliberal regime, characterized by a state of permanent austerity that requires increased surveillance and policing to maintain it. This illustrates Nicos Poulantzas’s suggestion in the 1970s that authoritarian statism is becoming the normal form of the capitalist type of state but rests on the intensification of features normally associated with exceptional regimes. This article updates Poulantzas’s argument to an era of finance-dominated accumulation and provides a new characterization of authoritarian neoliberal statism.

Bibliographic note

Invited, peer-reviewed, paper for special issue of this journal.