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Social Justice and Neoliberalism

Social Justice and Neoliberalism

Mark Boyle | Robert Rogerson | Peter North | Kathrin Horschelmann | Simon Reid-Henry | Colin Marx | Mark Boyle | Ergul Ergun | Elizabeth Olson | Vinny Pattinson | Professor Adrian Smith | Professor Alison Stenning | Katie Willis


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The continuing expansion of neoliberalism into ever more spaces and spheres of life has profound implications for social justice. Despite the number of policies designed to target ‘social exclusion’, people in many communities continue to be marginalized by economic restructuring. Social Justice and Neoliberalism explores the connections between neoliberalism, social justice and exclusion. The authors raise critical questions about the extent to which neoliberal programmes are able to deliver social justice in different locations around the world. The book offers grounded, theoretically oriented, empirically rich analysis that critiques neoliberalism while understanding its material impacts. It also stresses the need to extend analyses beyond the dominant spheres of capitalism to look at the ways in which communities resist and remake the economic and social order, through contestation and protest but also in their everyday lives. Global in scope, this book brings together writers who examine these themes in the global South, the former ‘communist’ East and the West, using the experience of marginal peoples, places and communities to challenge our conceptions of capitalism and its geographies.
'Social justice and neoliberalism is a refreshing alternative to the "global steamroller" view of the free-market revolution. Punchy and prescient, this superb collection of essays does a great job of putting neoliberalism in its place-both theoretically and politically.' Jamie Peck, University of British Columbia 'This excellent book focuses on the everyday spaces of neoliberalism. Richly theorised case studies from eight very different countries examine how processes associated with marketisation are differentially experienced and contested. Not only does this book provide new evidence of the relationship between neoliberalism and economic marginalisation, it also identifies the importance of new identities and forms of governance, and explores the implications for social justice. It is an impressive contribution to the literature on neoliberalism that should be read by critical scholars and all those interested in the changing lives of real people.' Wendy Larner, University of Bristol 'As the economic pundits acknowledge (finally!) the failures of the neoliberal order, Social Justice and Neoliberalism offers new research into its devastating impacts on everyday lives. In fine-grained and wide-ranging analyses, the authors demonstrate how neoliberalism was domesticated, spatialized, diversified, co-constituted, resisted and recoded by people and organizations in place. This meticulously researched collection not only indicts neoliberal ideology but points beyond it to possibilities for ethical markets and more just economic relations.' J.K. Gibson-Graham
Adrian Smith is Professor of Human Geography and Head of the Department of Geography at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of Reconstructing the Regional Economy (1998), Theorising Transition (1998) and Work, Employment and Transition (2002). He has been an editor of Regional Studies and will be an editor of European Urban and Regional Studies from 2009. Alison Stenning is Reader in Economic and Social Geography in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies at Newcastle University. Her work has been published in a number of sociology and geography journals. Katie Willis is Reader in Development Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her main publications include Theories and Practices of Development (2005); Gender and Migration (2000), Challenges and Change in Middle America (2002) and State/Nation/Transnation (2004). She is editor of Geoforum and International Development Planning Review.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Figures and tables vii
Acknowledgements ix
Introduction: Social justice and neoliberalism 1
Neoliberalism and resistance 3
Identities, subjectivities and new forms of governance 5
Social justice and neoliberalism 7
Diverse economies and neoliberalization 10
Conclusion 11
References 12
1 Voices from the trueque: barter networks and resistance to neoliberalism in Argentina 16
Alternative currencies and neoliberalism 19
Figure 1.1 Map of Argentina’s barter networks discussed 20
Figure 1.2 Barter network meeting in Gualeguachu, Argentina 21
Figure 1.3 Barter network vegetable market in Mendoza, Argentina 22
Resisting or recoding neoliberalization? 24
Internalizing neoliberalism? Barter networks as welfare 29
Conclusion 34
Notes 35
References 36
2 Confounding neoliberalism: priests, privatization and social justice in the Peruvian Andes 39
Neoliberalism, ideology and the non-economic 40
Figure 2.1 Map of Peru 44
Figure 2.2 Market held outside the Catholic Church during Easter celebrations in the Andes, Peru 52
State-led development and activism in the Southern Andes 45
Privatization and democratic politics 50
Figure 2.2 Market held outside the Catholic Church during \rEaster celebrations in the Andes, Peru 52
Figure 2.3 Encouraging voting among Sunday churchgoers in the Andes, Peru 53
Figure 3.1 A Polishwoman cleans the foyer of one of London’s numerous corporate headquarters 74
Conclusion: confounding neoliberalism? 55
Notes 57
References 57
3 Travelling neoliberalism: Polish and Ghanaian migrant workers in London 61
Structural adjustment, transition economies and migration 63
Neoliberal restructuring, the London economy and the return of the repressed 70
Figure 3.1 A Polish woman cleans the foyer of one of London’s numerous corporate headquarters 74
Figure 3.2 A Ghanaian woman cleaning toilets at the London headquarters of a major international bank 79
Conclusions 82
Notes 84
References 85
4 Neoliberalization and its discontents: the experience of working poverty in Manchester 90
Neoliberalism and urban labour markets: why work no longer works 92
Table 4.1 Worker security in Fordist and neoliberal labour markets 93
Table 4.2 Living wage levels calculated in various UK urban areas using the LCA budget standards methodology 97
A living wage for Manchester 98
Figure 4.1 Manchester and the study area wards: Ardwick and Baguley 99
Figure 4.2 Manchester: a juxtaposed cityscape of poverty and affluence 100
Figure 4.2 Manchester: a juxtaposed cityscape of poverty \rand affluence 100
The experience of working poverty in Manchester 101
Squaring the circle? Local social justice and actually existing neoliberalism 107
Notes 109
References 109
5 Bargaining with the devil: neoliberalization, informal work and workers’ resistance in the clothing industry of Turkey 114
Figure 5.1 Map of Turkey 115
Neoliberal economic policies, labour flexibility and the informal sector 115
Structural adjustment in Turkey 118
The textile and clothing industry in Turkey 119
Figure 5.2 A typical peripheral neighbourhood of Istanbul, in which the researcher worked as a garment worker 120
Figure 5.3 Two clothing workshops in Istanbul, hidden in the ground and basement floor of a residential flat 121
Spatial divisions of labour in the clothing industry and industrial workshops 121
State policies relating to the clothing industry and the informal sector 122
Trade unions and informal-sector workers in Turkey 124
Bargaining and its limits 127
Conclusion: bargaining with the devil 129
Notes 130
References 131
6 Transitions to work and the making of neoliberal selves: growing up in (the former) East Germany 135
Contextualizing risk 135
Figure 6.1 Map of Germany 136
Table 6.1 Summary of focus groups in the Leipzig study 138
Figure 6.2 Regenerated turn-of-century housing in Leipzig’s South East 146
Figure 6.3 High-rise area in Leipzig West 147
Individualization and governmentality 139
Tackling uncertainty 144
Figure 6.2 Regenerated turn-of-century housing in Leipzig’s South East (Südvorstadt) 146
Figure 6.3 High-rise area in Leipzig West (Grünau) 147
Figure 6.4 Shopping street in the centre of Leipzig 151
Governing the self 153
Conclusion 159
Notes 161
References 161
7 The emergence of a working poor: labour markets, neoliberalization and diverse economies in post-socialist cities 164
Figure 7.1 Map of Nowa Huta, Kraków, Poland 166
Figure 7.2 Map of Petržalka, Bratislava, Slovakia 167
Figure 7.3 Osiedle Przy Arce, one of Nowa Huta’s neighbourhoods 168
Figure 7.4 View of Petržalka from the old town quarter of Bratislava 169
Transformation and the neoliberalization of labour markets 170
Table 7.1 Average wages in Slovakia and Poland 171
Table 7.2 Sectoral employment change, Bratislava and Kraków, 1993–2005 174
Negotiating segmented labour markets and the emergence of in-work poverty 175
Table 7.3 Employment structure of households in Petržalka and Nowa Huta relative to ‘at risk’ of poverty levels 176
Figure 7.5 Occupational profile of household members relative to relative poverty risk levels, Petržalka and Nowa Huta, 2005 177
Table 7.4 Average monthly income for households with different employment structures 178
Table 7.5 Gender and occupational structure in Nowa Huta and Petržalka 179
Figure 7.6 Arcelor Mittal in Nowa Huta, still employing approximately 6,000 workers 181
Figure 7.6 Arcelor Mittal in Nowa Huta 181
Articulations beyond the formal labour market 182
Table 7.6 Average proportion of income derived from various sources 183
Conclusion 192
Notes 195
References 195
8 Difference without dominance: social justice and the (neoliberal) economy in urban development 199
Figure 8.1 Map of Durban showing the Ntuzuma district 201
Economic subjectivities 203
Seeing difference in the economy 205
Figure 8.2 Informal economic activities in Ntuzuma district 208
Dislodging and decentring the perceived location of generative economic activities 216
Conclusion 222
Notes 224
References 224
Conclusion: Neoliberalization, social justice and resistance 228
The diverse processes of neoliberalization 231
Neoliberalism and its others 234
The spatialities of neoliberalism 237
Peripheral neoliberalisms 238
Neoliberalism and social justice 240
References 242
Contributors 243
Index 248