Landing : Athabascau University

ENVS461 blog 7 unit 6 The politics of neoliberalism

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By Chaoran Chen July 14, 2023 - 11:56pm
ENVS461 blog 7 unit 6 The politics of neoliberalism


In Neoliberalism and the Environment in Latin America, the authors describe many of the neoliberal responses to climate change, such as deregulation and cuts in public spending on environmental management. (Liverman & Vilas, 2006) Neoliberalism opposes a collective and communal response in mitigating environmental problems, and they strongly favour an individual response to climate change. However, individual green living pales into insignificance in the face of collective emissions, which, as Lukacs mentions, are accounted for by a staggering 71 per cent by just 100 companies. (Lukacs, 2017) The amount of pollution we individually save from emitting is merely so that corporations can emit more. Under neoliberalism, the effects of private ownership and deregulation on the economy have been greatly amplified, and the government's ability to regulate business and its impact on the welfare of society has been greatly reduced. At a time when climate change is a critical need for a collective public response, governments are unable to play their proper role because of neoliberal opposition. (Lukacs, 2017) Both privatisation and deregulation weaken the government's proper functions, which plays a negative role in mitigating damage to the environment. In addition neoliberalism creates financial tsunamis in countries like Greece where this capital comes in the form of loans to create false prosperity and when the bubble bursts all the illusion of prosperity is burst eventually backfiring on everyone in the country. (CBC, 2019) Neoliberalism is itself characterised by the requirement for the government not to interfere too much in the activities of the free market, but neoliberals are usually against any intrusive measures by the government, which makes the free market chaotic and lacks reasonable regulation. In addition, lower taxes are not often a good thing, and neoliberalism's blind support of lower taxes by the government when the government needs a lot of money to stimulate economic activity and create a welfare system is also negatively affecting the proper functioning of the social system. Moderate inflation promotes consumption, but in the eyes of neoliberals, all inflation should be stopped, which is not conducive to promoting people's desire to consume. In short, the practice of neo-liberalism does more harm than good and is not worth promoting.


“Hatchet and Seed” project

Who is involved? Where? Why do you care?
• Neoliberalism is a political and economic philosophy that supports deregulation, privatisation, limited government interference, and free markets.
• Neoliberal approaches have received support from a variety of parties in the UK, including political figures, think tanks, industry associations, and international organisations.
• In the UK, some well-known individuals who were involved and supported neoliberal policies include:

    Margaret Thatcher: During her tenure as UK Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990, Thatcher put into place a number of neoliberal changes, including privatizing state-owned businesses, liberalizing the banking sector, and curtailing the influence of labour unions (Harmes, 2012).

     Tony Blair: From 1997 to 2007, Blair served as the leader of the Labour Party and as Prime Minister, embracing a "Third Way" strategy that merged social democratic and neoliberal economic principles (Harmes, 2012). 

     David Cameron: From 2010 to 2016, Cameron served as the leader of the Conservative Party and as Prime Minister. In reaction to the global financial crisis, he adopted austerity policies with the goal of reducing the budget deficit through spending reductions and welfare reforms (Azevedo et al., 2019).


Neoliberalism is a concept that interests me because it has a substantial impact on economic decisions, social welfare programmes, and the equitable distribution of wealth and power in society (Azevedo et al., 2019). For this reason, many people, including myself, find it necessary to understand and discuss neoliberalism policy.

  What course concepts will you use? What will be your source of insights?

• I would make use of several course concepts from the fields of political science, economics, and sociology to discuss neoliberalism policies in the UK.
• Some of the key sources I will use to gather insights about Neoliberalism in UK include:

    Academic literature: scholarly works that examine neoliberalism and its effects on the UK, produced by researchers with backgrounds in political science, economics, and sociology.

    Government Publications: In the UK, neoliberal policies and its goals are outlined in reports, policy papers, and official statements from governmental authorities and agencies.

     Research Institutes: Studies and reports written by unbiased research institutions with a focus on economic and social policy, like the Institute for Fiscal Studies or the Centre for Policy Studies.

     News Media: Information on the application and results of neoliberal policies in the UK can be gained via articles and investigative journalism from respected news sources.

      Policy Briefs and Campaign Groups: This will include publications from advocacy and policy-oriented groups that analyse the effects of neoliberal policies and suggest different strategies.


Who is your audience?
• Policymakers: They can examine neoliberalism to see whether it effectively encourages economic growth, lessens government involvement, and fosters an atmosphere that is conducive to business.
• Economists: They are expected to understand the consequences of neoliberalism on trade liberalisation, deregulation of markets, privatisation, and income inequality, as well as its influence on key economic metrics like GDP growth, unemployment, and inflation.
• Academic experts: Scholars from a variety of disciplines, including political science, sociology, and history are targeted and are intended to comprehend the historical progression, ideological foundations, and social ramifications of neoliberalism.
• Political scientists: Ideas about neoliberalism can be studied by political scientists to examine its effects on political institutions, party ideologies, and election strategies, as well as to investigate how it influences public policy discussions.

 What form will your project take?
- The project will take the essay format.


CBC/Radio Canada. (2019, August 29). Is neoliberalism destroying the world? | CBC Radio. CBCnews.

Lukacs, M. (2017, July 17). Neoliberalism has conned us into fighting climate change as individuals | Martin Lukacs. The Guardian.

Manning, L. (2023, January 17). Neoliberalism: What it is, with examples and pros and cons. Investopedia.

Azevedo, F., Jost, J.T., Rothmund, T. and Sterling, J., 2019. Neoliberal ideology and the justification of inequality in capitalist societies: Why social and economic dimensions of ideology are intertwined. Journal of Social Issues, 75(1), pp.49-88.

Harmes, A., 2012. The rise of neoliberal nationalism. Review of international political economy, 19(1), pp.59-86.