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Liberalism, Neoliberalism, and Urban Governance: A State–Theoretical Perspective

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This paper discusses the recurrence and the recurrent limitations of liberalism as a general discourse, strategy, and regime. It then establishes a continuum of neoliberalism ranging from a project for radical system transformation from state socialism to market capitalism, through a basic regime shift within capitalism, to more limited policy adjustments intended to maintain another type of accumulation regime and its mode of regulation. These last two forms of neoliberalism are then related to a broader typology of approaches to the restructuring, rescaling, and reordering of accumulation and regulation in advanced capitalist societies: neoliberalism, neocorporatism, neostatism, and neocommunitarianism. These arguments are illustrated in the final part of the paper through a critique of the World Report on the Urban Future 21 (World Commission 2000), both as an explicit attempt to promote flanking and supporting measures to sustain the neoliberal project on the urban scale and as an implicit attempt to naturalize that project on a global scale.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Lancaster University, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2002


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