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Centers: Liberalism

  • Chamsy el-OjeiliEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter, el-Ojeili explores the utopian dimension of contemporary liberalism. Surveying liberalism’s historical transformations, el-Ojeili examines the future-oriented contours of the neo-liberalism dominant within wealthy nations since the 1980s. In the wake of the global financial crisis, el-Ojeili argues, we see a splintering of liberalism into three important fragments. First, we see an increasingly contingent and punitive neo-liberalism of austerity, which retreats from leadership and seeks to preserve extant power relations. Second, we find a neo-Keynesian turn, which frequently combines the language of enterprise and competition with a drive toward careful, selective regulation, toward a more socially justified capitalism. Third, we see the advance of a “liberalism of fear”, which evokes a number of threatening dystopian figures—populism, protectionism, the 1930s, extremism, and, totalitarianism.

Keywords

Contemporary liberalism Neo-liberalism Neo-Keynesianism Dystopian Democracy 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Cultural StudiesVictoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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