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Authoritarian neoliberalism between Johnson and Jupiter: declining legitimacy and the elevation of home affairs in post-Brexit Britain and Macron's France

Ward, Joseph and Da Costa Vieira, Thomas ORCID: 0000-0001-7895-3838 (2024) Authoritarian neoliberalism between Johnson and Jupiter: declining legitimacy and the elevation of home affairs in post-Brexit Britain and Macron's France. Geoforum, 149. ISSN 0016-7185

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2024.103942

Abstract

In the face of protracted stagnation following the global financial crisis, democratic governments who remain committed to neoliberalism are still required to secure popular support for their programmes. This article evaluates how this dilemma has presaged a shift in the relationship between governmental attempts to maintain neoliberal legitimacy and the imposition of authoritarian reforms. We argue that, in the aftermath of the 2015 refugee crisis, this shift has consisted of the elevation of home affairs policy and the advance of a ‘mutated’ politics of legitimation characterised by explicit forms of ‘othering’ and hostility towards the wider political system. Drawing on the examples of the UK and France, we show how this deepening authoritarianism has manifested along two interconnected axes: (1) increased police powers and suppression of protests and civil liberties; (2) enhanced border security and restrictions on citizenship. Contributing to scholarship on authoritarian neoliberalism, we argue that this elevation of home affairs not only augurs the intensification of authoritarianism, but also reveals how governments have utilised popular resistance to authoritarian reforms to generate new forms of reactionary ‘consent’.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/geoforum
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2024 15:03
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 21:30
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/122047

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