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Despite the impact of global economic crises and, more recently, the international shockwave of populism, neoliberalism persists as a framework for policies, policymakers and social orders. In Australia, debate about neoliberalism was largely initiated by the publication of Economic Rationalism in Canberra in 1991. This special section of the Journal of Sociology has been compiled to mark the impact of this seminal text over the past quarter of a century. The contributions to this section outline the evolution and transformative impact of neoliberalism locally and globally, and especially highlight current work by early-career researchers in Australia. As well as acknowledging competing interpretations of neoliberalism, this introduction summarises emerging scholarship in economic sociology by focusing on: the rhetoric of policymaking; the rollout of neoliberal policies in Australia and comparisons with international experiences; the impact of neoliberalism on social movements and social activism; and its ongoing role as a frame of reference for everyday work and life.


Institute for Religion, Politics, and Society

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Journal Article

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