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Call for Papers: The Rise of Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Ten Years On

We invite contributions to the workshop ‘The Rise of Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Ten Years On’, which will take place at King’s College London, 18 June 2024.

Workshop Convenors: Malte Laub (University of Sheffield) & Cemal Burak Tansel (Newcastle University)

Submission Deadline: 19 April 2024

Ian Bruff’s 2014 article ‘The Rise of Authoritarian Neoliberalism’ has been a key resource for making sense of—and formulating resistance against—authoritarian tendencies that undergird capitalist statecraft in the twenty-first century. Through its incisive articulation of a framework with which to identify and interrogate the inherent and evolving authoritarian practices of neoliberalism, the article has had a formative impact on numerous debates across the social sciences and humanities, and influenced an impressive range of theoretical and empirical scholarship in its wake. And yet, much has changed since 2010-2013—the period that spawned Bruff’s work on authoritarian neoliberalism following the global economic crisis. The unfolding ecological catastrophe, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the increasingly incoherent policy responses to these systemic crises have led many observers to suggest that neoliberalism itself has been on a slow and painful retreat, eclipsed by the return of state capitalism and (green) industrial policy. ‘Market fundamentalism’ might have become less visible as a blueprint for socio-economic governance, yet, for many scholars, it is still not clear where the global political economy is heading. These systemic pressure points are mirrored by more conjunctural developments, such as the rise and normalisation of the far-right, contestations around spaces and sites of reproduction (from the household to the land and the city), degeneration of global governance structures and accompanying rise of geopolitical and genocidal violences, from Ukraine to Gaza and Sudan.

It is with these pressures, transformations and developments in mind that we invite you to join us for a one-day workshop at King’s College London to celebrate and reflect upon the article’s impact, and open up new discussions around the utility and relevance of ‘authoritarian neoliberalism’ in the post-pandemic conjuncture. The workshop will host 3 sessions populated with invited and unsolicited contributions, and conclude with a plenary roundtable featuring Ian Bruff (University of Manchester), Insa Koch (University of Sankt Gallen), John Narayan (King’s College London), Aleksandra Piletić (King’s College London) and Angela Wigger (Radboud University).

We invite papers that engage with authoritarian neoliberalism to analyse contemporary capitalism and its contradictions, crises, and challenges. We are especially interested in work that transcends disciplinary boundaries and methodological conventions in line with the article’s own success in speaking to different audiences. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Empirical and theoretical interventions on ‘authoritarian neoliberalism’ as a framework, then and now
  • The actually existing authoritarian neoliberalisms in the post-pandemic conjuncture
  • Encounters between authoritarian neoliberalism and cognate concepts and frameworks, such as racial capitalism, authoritarian populism, state capitalism, and illiberal democracy
  • Practices of authoritarian neoliberalism: State violence, lawmaking, policing, and carcerality
  • Authoritarian neoliberalism and the politics of climate breakdown
  • Authoritarian neoliberalism in/against spaces and sites of reproduction

Submissions from PhD students, early career researchers, independent scholars and activists are particularly encouraged.

Registration and Abstract Submission

You can register for the workshop using the sign-up form. Registration is free and will remain open until 3 June 2024.

You can also submit your abstract via the same form. Submission deadline is 19 April 2024. We will notify authors by 3 May 2024.

If you would like to be considered for a travel + accommodation bursary, please complete the second part of the form. PhD students, early career researchers, independent scholars and unemployed colleagues will be prioritised in the allocation of funds.

This event is sponsored by

Additional support is provided by the Critical Political Economy Research Network of the European Sociological Association, Political Economy Beyond Boundaries, and The British International Studies Association International Political Economy Working Group.