Politics after National Development: Explaining the Populist Rise under Late Capitalism
- Ruben Gonzalez-Vicente
- 15 November 2017
- Arsenaal building
2311 CT Leiden
Abstract: Ten years after the global financial crisis, the world is living through times of great political uncertainty and turbulence. While the current historical juncture has presented renewed opportunities for progressive articulations against marketisation and the individualisation of risk (i.e. neoliberalism), more prominently it has awoken the ghosts of nationalism and various reactionary forms of populism. This article’s contribution is in contextualising this novel momentum within late capitalism. We argue that the combination of techno-logistical transformations in production and pro-market policy sets that facilitated the globalisation of capital, and which dealt a death blow to national development strategies, was met by elites with intensified efforts to dislocate politics from society through processes of ‘depoliticisation’ that in turn allowed for further marketising efforts. However, this dislocation has dovetailed with a formidable social crisis characterised by unprecedented levels of inequality and vulnerability amid immense wealth, calling into question the elite consensus around neoliberalism. While the leaders of the current political reawakening often distinguish themselves against post-political forms of neoliberal governance, they remain confronted by powerful interests and significant structural constraints as they promote solutions for global problems within the anachronistic confines of the nation-state.
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