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Neoliberalising violence: of the exceptional and the exemplary in coalescing moments

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This paper sets out to develop two related ideas. First, it seeks to identify how both violence and neoliberalism can be considered as moments. From this shared conceptualisation of process and fluidity, I argue that it becomes easier to recognise how these two phenomena actually converge. Building upon this conceived coalescence of neoliberalism and violence, the second aim is to recognise how the hegemony of neoliberalism positions it as an abuser, which facilitates the abandonment of those ‘Others’ who fall outside of neoliberal normativity. I argue that the widespread banishment of ‘Others’ under neoliberalism produces a ‘state of exception’, wherein because of its inherently dialectic nature, exceptional violence is transformed into exemplary violence. This metamorphosis occurs as aversion for alterity intensifies under neoliberalism and its associated violence against ‘Others’ comes to form the rule.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand,

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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