Publication Details

Castree, N. (2006). From neoliberalism to neoliberalisation: consolations, confusions, and necessary illusions. Environment and Planning A: international journal of urban and regional research, 38 (1), 1-6.


Of late, I have been conducting a review of empirical research that analyses the relationships between neoliberalism and the nonhuman world.When published, the review will, I hope, be a useful way-station in advancing our understanding of these relationships. In a short space of time there has been a proliferation of research into the `nature of neoliberalism and the neoliberalisation of nature' (McCarthy and Prudham, 2004). Until recently neoliberalism had been the topical preserve of critically minded urban, economic, and development geographers. Now, though, a cohort of environmental geographersöalso critically mindedöhave turned their attention to how the non- human world affects and is affected by neoliberal programmes. For instance, the journals Capitalism, Nature, Socialism and Geoforum have both devoted whole issues to the topic in the last twelve months. Much of the research I am surveying is Marxist or neo-Marxist in its explanatory and evaluative approach. Although theoretically informed, it is also insistently empirical: it attempts to trace the environmental logics and effects of neoliberalism contextually. My aim has been to parse it so that we can see the proverbial woodsöin diagnostic and normative termsöfor the empirical trees. In the absence of a systematic review of the empirical literature I suspect that we will remain unclear what gains are being made in terms of concepts, evidence, or critique.



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