Searching for Saviors: Neoliberalism and the Persistence of Economic Protectionist Demands

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Cory BLAD, Manhattan College, USA
Neoliberal capitalism exacerbates existing economic inequalities and deepens existing material hardships, while at the same time facilitating economic growth. This contradictory reality ensures that two poles inevitably solidify in liberal capitalist societies: Beneficiaries who seek to legitimate the upward transfer of wealth and non-beneficiaries who seek to protect their material interests (employment, wages, costs, etc…) from those same adverse eventualities. Using the Polanyian concept of the double movement and Bourdieu’s understanding of neoliberal doxa, this paper examines the influence of persisting economic protectionist demands on neoliberal political legitimacy. Specifically, this paper examines how advanced capitalist states respond to protectionist demands, particularly in times of exacerbated material hardships or economic crisis. The relationship between nationalist politics and the effects of protectionist resistance are examined in more contextual detail.