Neoliberalism

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Neoliberalism

  1. 1. Neoliberalism Cities, Space, Surplus Democracy + Public Space The Public School New York April 19, 2010 Craig Willse cwillse@gmail.com
  2. 2. Neoliberalism • Ideological - a set of ideas about the “best” relationship between the economy and government. • Political - social and economic reforms that put the ideas of neoliberalism into practice. • Historical - an era characterized by the dominance of neoliberal political projects (roll-back and roll-out).
  3. 3. Neoliberal Ideas • The economy will prosper if left alone, and a prosperous economy is good for the people. • Individuals bear responsibility for their poverty, and governments should not foster “dependence” on social programs. • Economic rationales should be applied to social programs: competition, cost-benefits analysis, measurable outcomes.
  4. 4. What Does Neoliberalism Look Like? • Free market policies • In “developing” world (aka former colonies of US and European empires): structural adjustment programs that cut social spending • In US: shift of industrial production out of US, and growth of domestic service and knowledge industries; workfare • Increasing economic polarization • Growth of surplus populations • Expansion of “security” industries - police, prisons, military occupation • Expanding power of supranational governance bodies
  5. 5. What Does Neoliberalism Look Like in the City? • Selling off of public space to private corporations • Dominance of consumerism • “Quality of life” crackdowns • More cops, and more militarized policing • Growth of private security forces in quasi- public spaces • Growth of non-profit sector • Intensification of racialized economic exploitation and racial wealth gap

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