“Discuss W.W.Yeo 2003) has restructured the world, as we

“Discuss the relationship between neoliberalism and globalisation
with reference to more than one example”

 

A series of colossal events have signified the extent to
which the world has become  “global in
character and orientation” (Robert B Potter, T.Binns, J.A Elliot, D.Smith 2008).
Neoliberalism is a concept that has been at the forefront of these phenomena throughout
the past three decades. Neoliberalism, which, in broad terms, “involves the
promotion of market forces, individual choice and limited state as key
principles of economic and social organisation”(Mackinnon, D cited in
R.Bishop, J.Phillips, W.W.Yeo 2003) has restructured the world, as we
know it. The concept of a truly homogenised world, based on a combination of western
ideals of development is at best a sceptical notion. As a result we must be
careful not to understand neoliberalism as a panoptic concept. However, it is
undeniable that resemblances are prevalent in local, national and global scales.
Throughout this essay I will investigate two conflicting schools of
geographical thought: Neoliberalism using of globalisation as force for
development or, Neoliberalism using globalisation as a force for
marginalisation,  “distorting’ patterns
of development and creating ever-increasing global inequalities” (Robert B
Potter, T. Binns, J.A.Elliot, D.Smith 2008).

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If we use Scech and Haggis (2000) definition of globalisation
“as the intensification of global interconnectedness, a process that they see
associated with the capitalism as a production and market system” (cited in R.B.Potter,
T. Binns, J.A.Elliot, D.Smith 2008) it is undeniable that Neoliberalism is deeply
interconnected with globalisation. Neoliberalism’s ability to unpacking the Nation-State
is prime example of this. We can no longer seem them as an integrated force but
instead one that is detached. The state, despite, creating localised and
individualist forms of neoliberalism does not confine it ideas to a nations
boundaries. As, Jamie Peck (2004) argues its “political authority have been
profoundly disrupted in recent decades” (J.Peck 2004). Power is alternatively
given to big institutional corporations such as World Bank/NGO’s/ the IMF
formulating a “national government” (J.Peck 2004). This brings into question the
integrity of territory and its relevance in a time of neo-politics. In this
“borderless world”(R.B Potter, T. Binns, J.A.Elliot, D.Smith 2008)
Neoliberalism is able to spread universally, from Euro-America to the far
corners of the globe. The Department of International Development (2000)
believes that opens economies “that openness is necessary-though not
sufficient-condition for national prosperity”(cited in Robert B.Potter. T.
Binns, J.A.Elliot, D.Smith 2008). Thus, globalisation helps promote neoliberalism
as the ‘borderless world’ allows ideologies to be imposed.

 

However, to truly understand the concept of neoliberalism we
must look beyond simplistic clichés of market over state. There is more
complexity to it. Arguably it is the resurrecting of colonialism in a more
subtle and democratic manner. Through big institutional organisations like IMF,
World bank forcing neoliberalism ideals when giving loans to third world
countries. These include adopting open markets and similar neoliberal characteristics.
As Bales (1999) builds on this, arguing that  “the new slavery mimics the world
economy by shifting away from ownership and fixed asset management,
concentrating instead on control and use of resources or processes”(cited in K.Manzo
2005 pp. 527). As such, we must question, to what extent neoliberalism is
another from of ‘civilisation mission’ or “enlightenment discourses” (G.Hart
2002) or a new phenomenon at all? The spatial spreading of geo-political idea
can link back to the Caribbean exploitation, which ended in 1834. However,
these spreading ideas ended in a hybridity of culture know as creolization. This
may hint that the relationship between neoliberalism and globalisation not
being a natural one. It is a relationship that is often forced, it does not
happen organically. Arguably it has been able to develop on a international
scale due to western mass media creating a misconception that neoliberalism is
always associated with development, providing “a platform for experiencing the
world” (S.Ograd 2012) However, this has not been achieved, instead
globalisation and neoliberalism interconnectivity has created an uneven  “landscape of power” (Zukin 1991).

 

Due to this, when evaluating this relationship we must
consider where we are getting our information. Scholarly articles and
literature must be analysed carefully. We must also
consider that globalisation and neoliberalism’s combined effect is ever
changing, and as such, hard to pin down. From 2007 onward it is seen as a
catalyst for damage. Before, it was seen as a chance for development. This
means when we are critically analysing the relationship we must have this in
mind. More interestingly, Neoliberalism only sees knowledge transactions from Northern
Hemisphere to Southern Hemisphere, but not vice-versa. This is demonstrated in
Dipesh Chakrabarty’s (2008) famous quote that “Third world Historians feel a
need to refer to works of European history (but) historians of Europe do not
feel any need to reciprocate” (cited in J.Robinson 2003). Euro-American author’s
domination of the scholarly scene arguably brings into question the missing
localities of globalisation. It is westernisation, not globalisation. The
standardised symbols of globalisation eg; Big Macs and Coca-Cola are all
western in origin. This brings in to question the extent to which development
from the south is considered in geographical study. As James Ferguson (2006)
puts it “Interconnectedness among six rich countries is documented most
effectively, but the reader is left to wonder, what exactly, is worldwide about
it”. Navigating these split geographies is complex but in doing so we are able
to evaluate the relationship between globalisation and neoliberalism more
effectively.

 

However, Neoliberalism’s relationship with globalisation is a
flexible one, adapting and changing wherever it locates. Whilst maintaining “common material
roots” (J.Peck 2004) and “resemblances” (J.Peck 2004) there are variations in
how neoliberalism materialises. One missing piece in this neoliberal
globalisation is Africa. Unlike the heartlands of China, United States and
Europe, which are repetitively promoted as the successes of neoliberalism,
Africa does not feature. James Ferguson (2006) further argues, “Defenders of
neoliberal-structural adjustment programs naturally find Africa an inconvenient
case”.  It is considered to be a ‘failed’
country. It has not had the “national prosperity” (Department for international
Development 2000, cited in R.B.Potter, T. Binns, J.A.Elliot, D.Smith 2008) as
promised. Technological development at the heart of neoliberalism has not
reached Africa with “fewer than one in 1000 Africans had access to the internet”
(RB.Potter, T. Binns, J.A.Elliot, D.Smith 2008). As such they are not achieving
the “enlargement of peoples choice’s” (United Nations cited in M.Power 2003),
which has been promised. Through this we can alternatively argue against Kiely’s
(1999) definition of globalisation, which “refers to a world in which
societies, cultures, politics and economies have, in some sense, come closer
together”. Neoliberalism has actually created a world in which is diverging,
creating a marginalised world. Africa is consequently a result of the “Brutal
tectonics of neoliberal globalisation” (M.Davis 2004). They are economically
exploited in “secured enclaves with little impact of wider society” (J.Ferguson
2006) such as Angolia/Zambian Copperbelt and Ghana. However, the rest of the
country is left untouched by any form of neoliberalism. The IMF believes this
is a cost of neoliberalism, in which ” foreign direct investment, do not appear
to confer the benefits claimed for them” (IMF 2016). Overall, Africa’s
resilience against neoliberalist order hints at “alternative modernities” (J.Ferguson)
and reiterates the point that “less developed countries remain poorly
integrated into the global economic system” (R.B.Potter T. Binns, J.A.Elliot,
D.Smith 2008).

 

On a more local scale, in the UK, the supposed ‘heartland’ of
neoliberalism, uneven economic development persists. Regionally there are
spatial divergences in incomes, poverty levels and economic prosperity. Northern
regions eloquently demonstrate Grabber and Stork’s (1997) argument that
development is “affected by the path it has traced in the past”(cited in G.Hart
2002). In the North-East “over 20% of people of working age are claiming some
form of benefit” (Wintour, P 2002). This brings into question the extent to
which neoliberalism is marginalising the Global North and the Global South and
instead hints at the negative “resemblances” (J.Peck 2004) similarities. As
Alexander Vasundevan’s (2015) quote highlights “precarious life that have come
to be increasingly shared across the North/South Divide. With disparities
existing on the local and the global scale neoliberalism is arguably just an
excuse for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer?

 

What the 2008/9 financial crises demonstrated was that
Neoliberalism relationship with globalisation is a fragile one. It has troughs
and peaks, working in cycles of prosperity and decline. Its “single country
failures” (J.Peck 2004) have lead to a growing emergence of global protests
towards neoliberalism. In the words of Gillian Hart (2002) there will always be
an “uprising against modern forms of exploitation, the vanguard of a universal
process”. Alternatives to neoliberalism have begun dominating political
conversation. They are not simply adaptions but outright contestations to
neoliberalism. Brexit and Donald Trump have demonstrated
a resurgence of the “national identity” (S.Metcalf 2017). These massive shifts
in public opinion could demonstrate retaliation to open markets. It is the reforming of localities and
the resurrecting of territory. As Michael Romberg’s (2017) puts it “Nationalism
is unavoidable with Brexit”. Trump’s
recent rejection of Paris Climate agreement in which he states, “I was elected
to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” (Oliver Milman, David Smith and Damian Carrington, 2017) further enhances this rejection of a one-nation mentality. Both
are examples of “protective countermovement’s” (Polanyis 1994 cited in Kurtulu?, G) seeking to gain back emancipation from market rule. This is intimately
linked to the concept of identity and place-making which “explicitly rejects the mapping of
bounded cultures onto similarly bounded spatial grids” (Gupta and Ferguson,
1997 cited in G.Hart 2002). Furthermore, an interesting, but abstract, movement against neoliberal
control is Christiania. Outside a world of order, rules and
markets this place persists as a symbol of “freedom from the law and policies” (R.Päivi 2017) most notably, from
privatisation. Located in the Copenhagen it persists one of very few
‘freetowns’ consisting of squatted places, with self-built homes. What this informal
place-making demonstrates is the “ugly, cultural politics of neoliberal
globalisation” (Smith 1996 cited in P.J Cloke, J.May, S.Johnsen 2010). The
particular social groups who do not contribute to “economic transactions”
Dipesh Charabarty cited in J.Robinson 2003) are rejected. Christiania is both
an active contestation to the privatisation of neoliberalism but also
reinforces the social inequalities it produces.

 

If we look at Neoliberalism in a more abstract way, it “is
a name for a premise, that, quietly, has come to regulate all we practice and
believe”(S.Metcalf 2017). What Stephen Metcalf’s quote perfectly sums up is
that, despite their being opposition or an active contest to its policies, the
fact it is being constantly debated, circulated, contested means it is
prevalent in our everyday. Its effects, whilst unequal, are immeasurable. It
has become more than a policy, it has become an unconscious act in which we all
participate in whether we want to or not. As such it is undeniable that “The process of globalisation is,
therefore, inescapably plugged into the neo-liberal world order” (Robert B
Potter, T.Binns, J.A Elliot, D.Smith 2008).

 

In conclusion, “Neoliberalism is a loose and contradiction
laden ideological framework” (J.Peck 2004) making it complex to unpack and
formulate resounding conclusions from. It must be analytically investigated
differently depending on your identity. However, Neoliberalism, as a concept,
is undoubtedly connected to globalisation. As David Harvey eloquently suggests,
“the process of time space compression has been driven by development of the
economy” (cited in D.Mackinnon, A.Cumbers 2007). Despite globalisation and
neoliberalism relationship being a highly contested definition if we look at it
in its most simples form which reads of a truly fully homogenised world,
neoliberalism cannot and will never be able to offer that. It instead offers
hybridity of forms, spatially different and dependent on localities, cultures
and identities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Bishop.R, Phillips.J, Wei-Wei
Yeo, (2003),
Postcolonial urbanism: Southeast Asia cities and global processes. pp1-23.

 

Cloke, P., May, J., and
Johnsen, S., (2010) Swept up Lives?
Re-envisioning the

Homeless City.
Oxford, Blackwell.

 

Cosgrove, D (1994) Contested
Global Visions: One-World, Whole-Earth, and the Apollo Space Photographs, Annals of the Association of American
Geographers 84 (2):Pp.270-294

 

Davis, M, (2004) Planet of
Slums, New Left Review, vol.26,
pp5-34

 

Ferguson, J. (2006),
Introduction, Global Shadows: Africa in
the Neoliberal World Order, Durham and London: Duke University Press,
Chapter 1

 

Hart, G, 2002. Geography and
development: development/s beyond neoliberalism? Power, culture, political
economy. Progress in Human Geography,
26(6), pp.812-822.

 

International Monetary Fund
(2016), Neoliberalism oversold? Vol
53, No.2.

 

Kiely, R (2002) Global Shift: industrialization and development, ch 4.1
in Desai, V, Potter, R.B (eds) The companion
to Development Studies. London, Arnold, pp 183-6.

 

Kurtulu?, G, Karl Polanyi and the antinomies of
embeddedness , Socio-Economic Review, Volume 6, Issue
1, 1 January 2008, pp 5–33

 

Mackinnon, D., & Cumbers, A.
(2007), Globalization, uneven development and place, An introduction to economic geography, Pearson Education.

 

Manzo, K, Modern Slavery, Global Capitalism & Deproletarianisation
in West Africa, Review of African
Political Economy No.106: pp 521-534

 

Metcalf, S (2017) “Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the
world”, The Guardian, Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/18/neoliberalism-the-idea-that-changed-the-world

 

Milman,O, Smith,D, Carrington, D, (2017) The Guardian, “Donald
Trump confirms US will quit paris climate agreement”. Retrieved from: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/01/donald-trump-confirms-us-will-quit-paris-climate-deal

 

Ograd, S (2012),
Introduction, Media Representations and
the Global imagination, Cambridge: polity press.

 

Peck, J (2004) Geography and
public policy: constructions of neoliberalism. Progress in Human Geography, 28(3), pp.392-405.

 

Power, M (2003) Rethinking Development Geographies,
London,  Routledge.

 

Potter.B.R, Binns.T,
Jennifer.A Elliot.J.A, Smith,D, (2008) Geographies of Development ; An introduction to development studies,
Third edition. pp27-36

 

Rannila.P, (2017) Property and Carceral spaces in Christiania, Copenhagen, Urban Studies Virve Repo. pp
1-16.

 

Robinson, J (2003)
Postcolonising Geography: Tactics and Pitfalls. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography,pp 273-289.

 

Romberg, M (2017), “Brexit is just nationalism, not a positive
step forward”, Evening Standard

 

Vasudevan, A. (2015). The
Makeshift City. Progress in Human Geography, 39(3),
338-359

 

Wintour, P (2002) “North-South Divide is widening, warns
report”, The Guardian

 

Zukin, S (1991) Landscapes of Power: From Detriot to Disney World.
Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of
California Press. pp 320-340. 

 

 

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