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John Gledhill "The Companion to the Anthropology of Politics - Chapter 21: Neoliberalism" Summary: Gledhill briefly outlines the

developement of neoliberalism as political project and its different implementations around the world, especially in Mexico and Latin America. He explores the international institutions and metaregulation used to prop up neoliberalism but also the cultural factors uni ue to each national situation. Lastly, he explores how movements see!ing to create alternatives to neoliberalism must bridge the different perspectives of their organi"ers and base and build alliances with people in different situations. Terms and Names: Fordism: An economic theory which recommends the standardi"ation of industrial processes around assembly lines, and the paying of a higher than living wage so that the employees can afford the products they create #generating demand$. Keynesianism: A school of economics that focuses on aggregate demand #as opposed to supply%side economics$ and advocates a mixed economy, primarily private, but with a role for the state in stabili"ing the output of the business cycle #preventing overaccumulation, assuring employment to maintain demand$ through monetary policy through the central ban! and fiscal policy through the government. &his was the primary model for most developed nations in the later part of the Great 'epression, ((), and until *+,-. Capital accumulation: &he process of .creating wealth., that is amassing objects of value which can produce more wealth. An example is buying up real estate #capital$ and renting it out, the profits from the rent are thus the accumulation of capital #which can then be re%invested$. &his can be defined as creating, or merely re%distributing wealth. Labour fle ibility: /n the abstract, it refers to the speed to which the labour mar!et #the price of labour, and labour regulations$ adapts to changes in the economy, production and society. /n neoliberalism, it refers to wea!ening labour institutions #unions, minimum wage etc$ that inhibit this .flexibility.. Friedrich !on "aye# $%&''-%''(): An Austrian and later 0ritish economist and philosopher who defended classical liberalism and whose ideas were adapted in support of neoliberal ideology. A major idea of his is how changing prices communicate information to mar!et actors. He was given awards under the regimes of Margaret &hatcher and George 0ush /. *ilton Friedman $%'%(-(++,): An American economist and statistician who taught at the 1niversity of 2hicago for over thirty years. An opponent of 3eysianism, a proponent of monetarism, and a leader of the 2hicago school, he was an economic advisor to 4eagan. He believed that there existed a natural rate of unemployment that could not be eliminated without causing inflation, and that there should be a negative income tax, a voucher system for education. He opposed state intervention in the economy. The -ashin.ton Consensus: A term coined in *+5+ by economist 6ohn (illiamson to describe *7 economic policy prescriptions for crisis%wrac!ed developing countries promoted by (ashington '.2% based institutions such as the 18 &reasury, the (orld 0an!, and the /M9. More generally, it has been used to refer to exclusively mar!et%driven approaches to development. (illiamson contends that this

does not enjoy a consensus in (ashington or anywhere else. However, the opening of developing countries to global mar!ets is a !ey point of the original policy prescriptions, and it is for this that the (ashington 2onsensus can be considered a mar!et%driven approach to development. /iri.isme: A capitalist economy in which the state plays an important role not only in regulating, but directing investment. 0rice controls: Governmental restrictions on the price of goods, through a price ceiling or a price floor, usually intended to prevent price gouging or to assure a liveable income for producers, or to prevent inflation. Karl 0olanyi $%&&,-%',1): A Hungarian economic social scientist who published a famous wor! The Great Transformation in opposition to mainstream classical economics. He advanced the idea that economic practices are embedded in society and culture #substantivism$. 2roo#in.s 3nstitute: A thin!%tan! based in (ashington '.2 and an extremely influential one. 'escribed as .liberal%centrist. and probably the most cited thin!%tan! in the country. /t has existed since *+*:. /t aims to foster a more open, secure and prosperous international system #for the 1.8$. 2retton -oods 0ro4ect: A watchdog organi"ation that monitors the programs, policy reforms and management of the 0retton (oods institutions #the (orld 0an! and /M9$. /t was created through the collaboration of 0ritish ;G<s. /t see!s to foster more sensitive development models in these institutions that ta!e into account the environment, social issues, accountability, and poverty reduction. Consensus of *onterrey: &he outcome of the )77) conference in Monterrey, Mexico, the 1; /nternational 2onference on 9inancing for 'evelopment. /t is now a major guideline for international development collaboration. ;ew aid commitments were made by developed countries in exchange for concessions on policy coherence and debt relief. Carlos Salinas de Gortari: A Mexican economist and politician of the =4/, who was =resident of Mexico from *+55%*++>, though elected in a fradulent election. /nstituted neoliberal reforms and a constitutional reform allying himself with the 2hurch #allowing ministers to vote and churches to own land$. He negotiated ;A9&A with 2anada and the 1.8. /n the year he left office, inflation had dropped to ,.7>?, a new low, but shortly after he left it spi!ed up to @*.>5? due to the .'ecember Mista!e., this is his successor Arnesto BedilloCs decision to remove 8alinasC currency controls. &he root cause of the devaluation of the peso #the &e uila crisis$ is thought to be 8alinasC governmentCs efforts to stimulate the economy in the pre%election period through low%interest credit. &he Bapatista uprising in 2hiapas is thought by some to have played a role in the &e uila crisis as well #spoo!ing investors$. 0arty of the 3nstitutional 5e6olution: A Mexican political party that held power in various forms for ,* years, monopoli"ing power until )777. A member of the 8ocialist /nternational since it was actually socialist in orientation during the Mexican 4evolution, it is not socialist in its policies but .centrist.. State clientelism: &he give and ta!e between political parties and economic actors for mutual benefit. Crisis of accumulation: A massive devaluation of capital and labour which is caused, in the Marxist view, by overaccumalation of capital in the mar!et to the point where investment can no longer produce returns. Key 0oints:

;eoliberalism begins with the ideology of Haye! and 9riedman, but was instituted through 4eagan, &hatcher, and =inochet as a political project in the 57s #towards the end$. /t is characteri"ed by a steady transition from 3eynsian welfare state and state intervention to reduce unemployment to a regime of .flexible accumulation.. /ts spread was encouraged by the collapse of the 8oviet 1nion, as well as the (ashington consensus. 0y the mid *++7s, the neoliberal model diversified as nations not from the ;orth Atlantic saw its policy recommendations as ill%adapted to many national situations, such as those with formerly socialist economies in Aast Aurope and Asia. &he (orld 0an! has incorporated some of these criticisms, ac!nowledging a role for the government in reducing poverty through partnerships with ;G<s and using mar!et%based institutions to increase access to services and education. &he /M9 has seen little significant policy change as seen in its response to the Argentinian crisis under the 'uhalde regime. /t still re uired financial disciplines in order to provide debt relief, and assurances that the regime could contain any resistance to austerity. &he Monterrey 2onsensus reinforced this as international policy. /n its involvement with the Global 9orum for 9inancing the 4ight to 8ustainable 'evelopment with A uity #organi"ed by ;G<s, funded by the 1;$, the /M9 claimed to be adapting its model to be more inclusive. 8ome national governments claim to follow a .&hird (ay., a social democratic model that subjects the mar!et to ethical criteria and which maintains the provision of public goods. However this can be seen as soft neoliberalism, or a way of deepening neoliberali"ation #ma!ing it more entrenched as an ideology$. ;eoliberalism is more a process than an end goal. ;eoliberalism has gone from rolling bac! the welfare state to rolling out neoliberal modes of governance and regulatory relations, promoting decentrali"ation and diffuse governance #mostly driven by the private sector$. Metaregulation is !ey tool in this stage. ;G<s are often driven by genuine humanitarian goals, but when they involve themselves with multilateral organi"ations controlled by neoliberal interests, they alienate their .alternative. partners and end up playing a role in globabli"ed diffuse governance. 8ometimes they are ill% adapted to the needs of the communities they purport to serve, sometimes through actively embracing a neoliberal approach, aiding individuals to adapt to the mar!et, or sometimes accidently as they navigate ;G< funding politics. ;eoliberali"ation has shaped all contemporary politics. ;eoliberali"ation has been spread by imposition through the /M9 and other institutions, but there is a cultural element to its proliferation. /n Latin America, the governement was influenced by a variety of institutions, such as the military, landed oligarchies, and the church, not only by the urban business elite. 8alinas led the charge of neoliberali"ation in Mexico, and was able to garner enough support from the elite to do so. &hey were tired of the state intervention and public enterprise that emerged during the ,7s and wanted to ta!e advantage of globali"ation with cheap labour and access to the 18 mar!et. Here, political rather than economic forces drove neoliberali"ation, as seen through the extensive collaboration and corruption of the state by the .new men. #those who best capitali"ed on the reforms$ and the 9<0A=4<A program which bailed out the rich families during the &e uila crisis. &his is an example of how neoliberali"ation depends on state power, and how neoliberali"aiton creates a .shadow%state. of economic actors influential in government. &o ordinary citi"ens in Mexico, neoliberali"ation seemed li!e one way out of the pervasive corruption that characteri"ed the stateCs administration of public entreprises. /t also resonated with ideals of individualism and private property, and an admiration of those who can get the most out of social transactions at the expense of the naive other. 1rbani"ation and the spread of

consumerist society are two other factors that may contribute to its cultural spread.&here is a tension among poor families between supporting collective solutions and ta!ing the most reliable option for personal survival. &o Gledhill, what ma!es neoliberalism new is not free mar!et economics, but the absorption of social life by the mar!et. ;eoliberalism is the deepening of capitalism to commoditi"e identity and human relations. ;eoliberalism is indeed an ideology, lin!ing worth to consumption. ;eoliberalism creates an .audit culture. in which everything is measured for .performance.. &his encourages people to monitor one another as part of the competitive wor!place atmosphere, and subjugates professional standards to economic efficiency. &his encourages people of different classes to value themselves vis%a%vis each other. ;eoliberalismCs approch to poverty reduction is to compel the poor to adapt themselves to the #legal$ mar!et. 0ut the mar!et does not deliver outcomes in the best interest of the poor and criminali"es the poorCs illegal mar!et activities. ;on%(estern elites claim that their model is not a universali"ing neoliberali"ation, that it creates different forms of sovereignty for different populations. However, it still favours those classes and populations that adapt to the global mar!etCs demands, even as it tries to overcome the gap between these classes and the values of the broader society #2hinese business elites investing in the towns housing their ancestral tombs to rebuild social ties$. &here is a diversity in formulations of neoliberal ideology in conformity with local cultural norms. /t is now difficult in many countries to openly profess allegiance to a purely free mar!et model. 8ometimes it is directly lin!ed with violence through state, mafia, and paramilitary forces. <thers mar!et indigenous culture and ecological tourism. <nly in the 18, where neoliberalism is neoconservatism, is there an ideological apparatus lin!ed with the 2hristian right that actually legitimi"es unmitigated free mar!et ideology. &he international web of ;G<s does not provide a way of escaping neoliberal politics. However, the more diverse politics of street protest need to develop coherent alternatives. 0uilding alternatives means contending with contradictions, such as between rural farmers and the environment, or between indigenous groups and the poor who have no such special identity. 0uilding a strong opposition to neoliberalism means navigating different needs. &here is an interesting anecdote from the 8alvador carnival in 0ra"il. (ell%organi"ed government groups had created a multicultural tourist attraction around the theme of Afro% carnival #reflecting the predominantly blac! population of the 0ahia region$. 0ut the funding of cultural organi"ations was not enough to pave over the divisions in the event, with a paid tourist event in the center of the street clashing with the poor on the other side of the rope on the sides. &his latter culture was opposed to the co%optation and social differentiation this event represented. &wo movements are examples of attempts to bridge social divisions in opposition to neoliberalism. Movimiento Mujeres Agropecuarias en Lucha is an Argentine movement of farmers wives opposing land grabbing from rural families, but which shows solidarity with 0ra"ilian Movimento dos 8em &erra, a 0ra"ilian movement of the landless, whose tactics include land invasion. <pposition to neoliberalism must also include those neither landless nor poor, and draw on people engaged in identity politics around gender issues or human rights. &he willingness of movements to negotiate with states does not eliminate their potential to build alternatives. 0y utili"ing existing political currents and transcending their differences, a coherent opposition to neoliberalism can be built more effectively.