Show Less
You do not have access to this content

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.
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 8: Neoliberalism as a contract-based order

Kean Birch

Extract

This chapter introduces the third contradiction of neoliberalism and critical understandings of it, namely the emphasis placed on markets as the key organizing institution and mechanism for society. Contractual relations underpin markets, and this has not been analyzed sufficiently by critics of neoliberalism. The chapter outlines and discusses the historical evolution of contract law in common law countries in order to show how markets and market actors are both ‘made’ and ‘unmade’ through new contractual relations, especially those based on standard form or boilerplate contracts. These illustrate the extent to which only certain social actors (e.g. business entities, professional groups) are considered, legally speaking, to be market actors. Consequently, it is helpful to theorize neoliberalism as a contract-based order, rather than market-based one.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.


Further information

or login to access all content.