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Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal StateInequality, Exclusion, and Change$
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Leela Fernandes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479800155

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479800155.001.0001

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Conceptualizing the Post-Liberalization State

Conceptualizing the Post-Liberalization State

Intervention, Restructuring, and the Nature of State Power

(p.1) 1 Conceptualizing the Post-Liberalization State
Feminists Rethink the Neoliberal State

Leela Fernandes

NYU Press

This essay presents the theoretical framework for understanding state power in the context of policies of economic liberalization that are associated with the paradigm of neoliberalism. It specifically develops a conceptualization of the post-liberalization state that moves beyond assumptions that the neoliberal state is one that has necessarily weakened or retreated. The post-liberalization state is defined by shifting boundaries between state, market, and civil society that are contingent on the political, social, and economic circumstances within nations while also being shaped by transnational processes. These boundaries are shaped as much by historical continuities with older formations such as the developmental state and the racial state as they are with new modes of power. Through this focus on the state, the essay seeks to disrupt the conflation between neoliberalism and processes of privatization and the dominance of market rationalities. An understanding of the post-liberalization period in the twenty-first century requires analyses that also foreground questions of how conceptions of “publicness” are reconstituted and deployed, how states shape economic policy and contribute to the reproduction of inequality, and how political and social consent to structures of exclusion are produced and disrupted by social movements.

Keywords:   neoliberal, post-liberalization policies, state, racial, inequality, social movements, economic, privatization, civil society, markets

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