Globalization and Culture
Labor & Consumption I
September 23, 2013
Neoliberalism as Theory
Premises of neoliberalism as a theory:
● market forces will maximize human well-
● for that to happen, we need an
institutional framework of private property
rights, individual liberty, free markets, and
● the state’s job is to create and preserve
● Named after John Maynard Keynes
● Keynes called for state intervention - especially
government spending during economic crisis to
raise employment and stimulate consumption
● State has to balance market forces
● Broadly, Keynesianism describes a philosophy
put in action as “social welfare state” policies
● Social welfare includes state spending on
schools, education, health, employment.
Naturalization of Neoliberalism
Neoliberal economic theory becomes attached
to principles of individual freedom and liberty
● In US, this takes on an especially strong
● Harvey argues that business elites join
forces with the Christian Right (“moral
majority”) in the 1980s - what was the result
of this partnership?
● New York City’s fiscal crisis of 1970s
● US invasion of Iraq
Effects of Neoliberalism as Practice
Harvey argues that neoliberal policies have not
actually produced greater wealth.
● What does he point to as support for this
● What does he argue the function of
neoliberalism has been?
Redistributive vs Generative
Harvey argues that the net results of neoliberal
policies has been a redistribution of wealth to a
smaller and smaller elite class.
Accumulation by Dispossession
On page 15, Harvey discusses Marx’s notion of
“accumulation by dispossession.” What did
Marx mean by that term, and how does Harvey
update it for the contemporary moment?
Four elements of
accumulation by dispossession
● management and manipulation of crisis
● state redistributions
● In your groups, summarize the article by Aizura,
“Romance of the Amazing Scalpel”
● What did you find most interesting about this
● What are the visitors to the clinics paying for?
What services do the workers provide?
● How does this relate to our first conversation
about globalization and culture? What roles does
culture play in this industry?
● In what ways can we think about global tourism,
including health tourism, as related to Harvey’s
description of neoliberalism?
● Is tourism good, bad, or neutral?