Authoritarian Neoliberalism

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Ian Bruff:

"This process, of states reconfiguring themselves in increasingly nondemocratic ways in response to profound capitalist crisis, is what I view as the rise of authoritarian neoliberalism. Authoritarian neoliberalism does not represent a wholesale ‘break’ from earlier neoliberal practices, yet it is qualitatively distinctive due to way in which dominant social groups are less interested in neutralising resistance and dissent via concessions and forms of compromise that maintain their hegemony, favouring instead the explicit exclusion and marginalisation of such groups. However, the global crisis has intensified the crisis of legitimation already confronting various capitalist states – for instance, declining voter turnout and party membership, greater electoral volatility, growing mistrust of the political elite – meaning that authoritarian neoliberalism is simultaneously strengthening and weakening the state as the latter reconfigures into a less open and therefore more fragile polity. As a result, the attempted ‘authoritarian fix’ is potentially a sticking plaster rather than anything more epochal." (