Cemal Burak Tansel (ed.): States of Discipline. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Contested Reproduction of Capitalist Order.

Author:Cozzolino, Adriano
Position:Book review
 
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Cemal Burak Tansel (ed.)

States of Discipline. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Contested Reproduction of Capitalist Order, London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2017; 300 pp.: ISBN 1783486198, 29.95 [pounds sterling] (pbk)

The collective enterprise States of Discipline. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and the Contested Reproduction of Capitalist Order, edited by Cemal Burak Tansel and composed of 12 essays, is a timely book on the variegated, increasingly coercive and intrinsically contradictory forms of neoliberal governance, whose main goal is to disrupt the instrumental image of the liberal and democratic Global North versus the authoritarian/illiberal and backward Global South, developing thus a dynamic and theoretical-cum-empirical analysis of neoliberalism as a political project and as a set of disciplinary practices.

The volume starts by acknowledging that while many expected the end of neoliberal governance after the 2007-2008 crisis, the institutional and political patterns of neoliberalism intensified, in turn increasing social inequalities, a more coercive enforcement of market rule and the crisis of representative democratic institutions. From this consideration, the volume raises several questions: why has neoliberalism, despite the irreversible crisis of legitimation which skyrocketed after the global crisis of 2008, proved to be so resilient? And, through which--institutional, legal, extra/legal--mechanisms has it secured and even increased capital accumulation in the face of the economic, political and social crises?

Therefore, the book is an effort to unveil the current modes of neoliberal governance across a number of themes and cases around the globe. The theoretical dimension draws upon the key concept of authoritarian neoliberalism as outlined in particular by Ian Bruff (2014), and proposes an explicit political reading of neoliberalism. Through the concept of authoritarian neoliberalism, Bruff frames the 'reconfiguration of the state into a less open and democratic entity' (Bruff, 2014: 116). This reconfiguration is not a political-economic and institutional rupture with the pre-2008 phase, but, as complemented by Tansel, 'a historically specific set of capitalist accumulation strategies that both exacerbate the existing, structural trends in the political organization of capitalism and embodies distinct forms of practices geared towards unshackling accumulation at the expenses of democratic politics and popular...

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