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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $25.99

256 pp.
numerous graphs, 3 line drawings, 5 maps and 2 tables, 129 mm x 196 mm


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP UK

A Brief History of Neoliberalism

David Harvey

Neoliberalism - the doctrine that market exchange is an ethic in itself, capable of acting as a guide for all human action - has become dominant in both thought and practice throughout much of the world since 1970 or so.
Its spread has depended upon a reconstitution of state powers such that privatization, finance, and market processes are emphasized. State interventions in the economy are minimized, while the obligations of the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens are diminished. David Harvey, author of 'The New Imperialism' and 'The Condition of Postmodernity', here tells the political-economic story of where neoliberalization came from and how it proliferated on the world stage. While Thatcher and Reagan are often cited as primary authors of this neoliberal turn, Harvey shows how a complex of forces, from Chile to China and from New York City to Mexico City, have also played their part. In addition he explores the continuities and contrasts between neoliberalism of the Clinton sort and the recent turn towards neoconservative imperialism of George W. Bush. Finally, through critical engagement with this history, Harvey constructs a framework not only for analyzing the political and economic dangers that now surround us, but also for assessing the prospects for the more socially just alternatives being advocated by many oppositional movements.

Readership : Political scientists, economists, sociologists, geographers, scholars and students of urban politics; the general reader.


  • `Review from previous edition 'With characteristic brilliance, David Harvey offers a razor-sharp analysis of the history and current condition of neoliberalism. A must read if you want to know the state we are in and how to change it.''
    Erik Swyngedouw, Professor of Geography, University of Oxford
  • `'This is a succinct account of what neoliberalism is, where it came from and where it is going.''
    Morning Star
  • `'presents a concise but extremely well-documented economic history of the last three decades, encompassing not only the usual G7 countries but the entire world, with a particular emphasis on the US and capitalist China'.'
    Interactivist Info Exchange

1. Freedom's Just Another Word . . .
2. The Construction of Consent
3. The Neoliberal State
4. Uneven Geographical Developments
5. Neoliberalism with 'Chinese Characteristics'
6. Neoliberalism on Trial
7. Freedom's Prospect

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David Harve is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • Shortlisted for the Inaugural International Political Economy Group annual prize