Neoliberalism version 3+

Authored by: James D. Sidaway , Reijer Hendrikse

The Handbook of Neoliberalism

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  July  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138844001
eBook ISBN: 9781315730660
Adobe ISBN: 9781317549666


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This chapter charts the dynamics and features of a reconfigured and rejuvenated neoliberalism emerging out of the financial crisis that enveloped most Western countries over the last decade. It expands our prior designation of a neoliberalism 3.0 (Hendrikse and Sidaway 2010) that, we argued, was reworking earlier phases of neoliberalism and a longer history of what Block and Somers (2014) term ‘market fundamentalism’. Our reflections here are offered as a heuristic, rather than definitive statement. We offer the statement, however, in the light of our own research on the aftermaths of crisis from two European sites, a Dutch university (Engelen et al. 2014) and a German city (Hendrikse and Sidaway 2014), whereby public institutions have become tangled up with derivatives and subject to financial markets. We are also mindful of wider questions about the periodization and nature of neoliberalism. Such questions have long been debated, among a range of positions on what neoliberalism is, how we study it, where it is to be found and where it came from. 1 Although some argue that neoliberal accumulation patterns never assumed very stable characteristics, and have been ‘a “plural” set of ideas rather than a singular “pensée unique”’ (Plehwe et al. 2006: 2) and notwithstanding variegated outcomes and extents, neoliberalism might be defined as a programme of resolving problems of, and developing, human society by means of purportedly competitive markets (Patomäki 2009: 431), with financial markets leading the way.

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