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On the Fringe of Neoliberalism: residential development in outer suburban Sydney

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Although there is widespread consensus in human geography that neoliberalism is achieved through the intersection of multiple scales and states, there has been growing emphasis in recent years on the hybrid qualities of neoliberalist-styles of governance. Because hybrid approaches draw attention to the wide range of actors and contradictory agendas underpinning the always uneven expression of neoliberalist projects, they are particularly suited to the identification of residual state capacities in contexts where neoliberalist forms dominate economic and political life. Drawing on two cases of large-scale residential development in New South Wales, namely Warnervale Town Centre on the New South Wales Central Coast and the Australian Defence Industry site at St Marys in Sydney's west, the present paper adopts an hybrid approach in order to identify current state capacities. Through a comparison of both sites, it identifies the potential for socially and ecologically balanced development in the outer suburban context.
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Keywords: Neoliberalism; New South Wales; Sydney; hybridity; planning; residential development; urban governance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: City Futures Research Centre, Macquarie UniversityUniversity of New South Wales, Australia, Australia

Publication date: 2008-06-01

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