Geography and Public Policy

“Geography and Public Policy: Constructions of Neoliberalism” by J. Peck

In this article, the author argues how neoliberalism evolved and became the predominant ideological engine behind most economic regimes of Western societies since the early 1970s. Throughout the article, Peck notes the common associations attached to the neoliberal model, yet he is constantly underscoring the hybrid relationships these models possess as neoliberal practices are socially constructed and mutually constituted by the unique political framework it works under.  
Peck emphasizes how the ‘neoliberal –project’ is multidimensional and complex as it has operated differently -or rather transitioned differently- in different parts of the world. Softer transitions in post Keynesian states and harder ones such as the ones externally driven to some countries in a post communist era, pose many challenges to geographers; as one cannot scrutinize the neoliberal economic discourse under one lens when different political contexts dictate how differently nations can “structurally adjust”.
On one hand, Peck pieces neoliberal processes within a wider puzzle. In other words, the discourse associated to neoliberalism cannot be reduced to the deterioration of the nation state or the deregulation of the market. The processes behind these misnomers are far more intricate given the divergent forms of statecraft and governmentality, and the inherent inseparable state-market relationships. Peck argues that critical tropes of neoliberalism do not disempower or shrink the nation state, but rather restructure of the institutions of the state. He expands this idea to frame neoliberalism as transnational process (not as an agent) in a setting of imminent economic globalization where the state plays a key role in regulating, managing, and policing the market relations. The author constantly stresses the importance of “adding content” to the...