(El Liberalismo Neoclásico, el Libre Mercado y Sus Críticos) Neoliberalism, the Free Market, and Their Critics
Carmen G. Gonzalez
Seattle University School of Law
Tulane University - Law School
Universidad de los Andes School of Law
February 24, 2010
DEMOCRACIA, DERECHO Y ECONOMIA, (Democracy, Law, and Economics), Carmen G. Gonzalez, Colin Crawford, Daniel Bonilla, coordinators, Bogota, Colombia, 2010
The articles collected in this volume critically examine the hegemony of market fundamentalism in law, politics, and social theory. They question the underlying premises of market fundamentalism as well as the social, economic, cultural and environmental consequences of policies inspired by this ideology. The authors represent several disciplines (law, economics, anthropology) and various countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela). The topics covered include free trade agreements, Argentina's financial crisis, deregulation in Brazil, the judicial enforcement of economic and social rights, climate change, and the impact of trade liberalization on violence against women. The articles were originally published in English in 5 Seattle Journal for Social Justice (2007) with a foreword by economist Ha-Joon Chang of Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, and are available for the first time in Spanish in this volume.
The revised and expanded introduction to the articles situates market fundamentalism (or neoliberalism) within the broader philosophical debates over the meaning of liberalism. The introduction highlights the differences among several varieties of liberalism (including libertarian, egalitarian, and multicultural strands of liberalism), and describes the rise of neoliberal economic thought from the 1970s until the present. The authors argue that the richness of liberal political theory has been obscured by the dominance of neoliberalism in both public and scholarly debate and that market fundamentalism has impoverished the analytical tools available to analyze and evaluate contemporary social reality. Indeed, the hegemony of neoliberalism in both theory and practice has de-politicized public debate over the distribution of scarce resources, has circumscribed the role of the state in the economy, has undermined social solidarity, and has increased economic inequality. While recognizing that market fundamentalism is certainly not the only cause of current economic problems, the introduction notes that the neoliberal economic model nonetheless appears to be among the cruelest and most indifferent to the plight of society’s most vulnerable members.
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 23
Keywords: neoliberalism, liberalism, trade policy, law and development, environment, market fundamentalism, law and economics, democracy
JEL Classification: K10, K20, K32, K33
Date posted: March 3, 2010 ; Last revised: February 29, 2012