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The populist right challenge to neoliberalism: social policy between a rock and a hard place

Putzel, James (2020) The populist right challenge to neoliberalism: social policy between a rock and a hard place. Development and Change, 51 (2). 418 - 441. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12578


This article looks at the rise of right populist politics in both developed and developing countries, and its implications for social policy. The author locates the cause for the right populist surge in the legacies of neoliberalism, paying particular attention to the way neoliberal reforms have affected popular attitudes towards politics. The commodification of politics and social services has stoked mass cynicism towards reigning neoliberal elites, creating receptive audiences for populist slogans to ‘drain the swamp’ at the heart of governments. More controversially, the author argues that popular resentments toward neoliberal social policies based on the recognition of the rights of women, minorities, migrants and the poor have made communities susceptible to the racist and misogynist messages of the right populists. Through case studies looking at the United States, Brazil and the Philippines the author argues that the biggest impact of right populists on social policies can be found in their discourses and authoritarian practices of social exclusion.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2019 10:39
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 22:33

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