The rise of authoritarian neoliberalism

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This article returns to Marxist commentaries during a previous period characterized by profound contradictions and conflict-especially the writings of Nicos Poulantzas and Stuart Hall on authoritarian statism/populism from the late 1970s to the 1980s-in order to make sense of the present era. The article argues that we are witnessing the rise of authoritarian neoliberalism, which is rooted in the reconfiguring of the state into a less democratic entity through constitutional and legal changes that seek to insulate it from social and political conflict. The apparent strengthening of the state simultaneously entails its growing fragility, for it is becoming an increasingly direct target of a range of popular struggles, demands, and discontent by way of the pressures emanating from this strengthening. A primary reference point for the article is a notable casualty of the post-2007 crisis, European social democracy, but the implications for radical politics more broadly are also considered. © 2013 Association for Economic and Social Analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-129
Number of pages17
JournalRethinking Marxism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014


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