The lore of the jungle: neoliberalism and statecraft in the global‐local disorder (revisiting Peck and Tickell)

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In 1994, Jamie Peck and Adam Tickell published ‘Jungle law breaks out: neoliberalism and global‐local disorder’. In this paper, Peck and Tickell proposed that the dramatic acceleration of place‐based competition was the result of political‐economic disorder at the global scale and that neoliberalism was critical to the understanding of this shift in scale of political and economic governance practices. Moreover, they argued that rather than restoring and sustaining economic growth, local strategies were the product of continuing regulatory crisis. Peck and Tickell's insights helped inspire and initiate one of the most influential and growing areas of political economic geography: the theorisation and research of neoliberalism. This body of work presents neoliberalism as the regulatory expression of capitalism's unstable, contradictory and crisis‐ridden dynamic to highlight the ongoing search for a new institutional fix. This commentary traces Peck and Tickell's original insights in relation to the persistent framing of neoliberalism as an inevitable response to the breakdown of Keynesian‐Welfarism. Drawing on research on welfare state restructuring, it further outlines how the ‘lore’ of neoliberalism as regulatory solution inhibits discussion of alternative regulatory forms.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, University Road, Bristol BS8 1SS.

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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