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A Research Agenda for Neoliberalism

Kean Birch

With an ever-expanding variety of perspectives on the concept of neoliberalism, it is increasingly difficult to identify any commonalities. This book explores how different people understand neoliberalism, and the contradictions in thinking of neoliberalism as a market-based ethic, project, or order. Detailing the intellectual history of ‘neoliberal’ thought, the variety of critical approaches and the many analytical ambiguities, Kean Birch presents a new way to conceptualize contemporary political economy and offers potential avenues for future research through a judicious exploration of ‘neoliberal’ practices, processes, and institutions.
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Chapter 5: Struggling with neoliberalism as a concept

Kean Birch

Extract

This chapter unpacks the ambiguities and problems with the various critical understandings of neoliberalism discussed in the previous chapter. Neoliberalism can be and has been used to refer to almost anything from corporate power through inequality to entrepreneurial subjectivities, and yet its wide applicability has led a growing number of people to question whether it can retain its analytical value in light of its promiscuous applicability. The chapter outlines the growing critique of neoliberalism as a concept.

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