Conclusions: The Legitimation Crisis and the Future of Neoliberalism

  • Alessandro BonannoEmail author


This Chapter reviews the conditions that determine the legitimation crisis of global neoliberalism. It argues that the achievement of legitimation has always been linked to the management of the contradiction between the bourgeois claims of democracy and equality and the concentration of capital and power engendered by the development of capitalism. Under laissez-faire capitalism, this contradiction was resolved through the adoption of the nature-like functioning of the market as the organizing principle of society. Fordism was based on the organizing principle of state-regulated capitalism. As this form of legitimation was undermined by the crisis of the state, the impartiality of the free market proposed by neoliberals became the new organizing principle of society. However, as market mechanisms cannot address the contradictions of capitalism and state intervention is necessary, the legitimation crisis of neoliberalism developed. While solutions to the legitimation crisis are not available and substantive opposition remains weak, the chapter concludes, change is directed by corporate forces that will continue to pursue their interests and only marginally will grant some of the claims of subordinate groups.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologySam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA

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