Neoliberalism - Annual Review of Anthropology

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Contributed date

February 26, 2023 - 10:25am

Critical Commentary

Absrtract: "Neoliberalism has been a popular concept within anthropological scholar- ship over the past decade; this very popularity has also elicited a fair share of criticism. This review examines current anthropological engagements with neoliberalism and explains why the concept has been so attractive for anthro- pologists since the millennium. It briefly outlines the history of neoliberal thought and explains how neoliberalism is different from late capitalism. Although neoliberalism is a polysemic concept with multiple referents, an- thropologists have most commonly understood neoliberalism in two main ways: as a structural force that affects people’s life-chances and as an ideology of governance that shapes subjectivities. Neoliberalism frequently functions as an index of the global political-economic order and allows for a vast ar- ray of ethnographic sites and topics to be contained within the same frame. However, as an analytical framework, neoliberalism can also obscure ethno- graphic particularities and foreclose certain avenues of inquiry."


Ganti, Tejaswini. 2014. “Neoliberalism.” Annual Review of Anthropology 43 (1): 89–104.

Cite as

Tejaswini Ganti, "Neoliberalism - Annual Review of Anthropology", contributed by James Adams, The Energy Rights Project, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 26 February 2023, accessed 27 May 2024.