Accepted paper:

The Otherwise Neoliberal: Decolonisation, Ends of Empires, and the Original Accumulation of Neoliberalism in the Global Periphery

Authors:

Patrick Neveling (University of Bergen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shapeshifts Karl Marx's analysis of the original accumulation of capitalism to analyse the birth of neoliberalism in the global peripheries after World War.

Paper long abstract:

Special economic zones are today central to most programs for regional and national development, with governments across Africa, Asia, and increasingly Europe and the Americas driving up the number of zones well beyond 4,000 and zone factories employing around 100 million workers. Yet, how did it come to this, given decades of resistance against exploitative labour conditions, runaway factories and tax evasion that prevail in the zones? This presentation charts the resistible rise of special economic zones since 1945 and shows how their inherent promise of miraculous growth rates turned peripheral locations such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and later Mauritius and PR China into the birthplaces of an "otherwise neoliberal". In linking these origins of neoliberal practices and markets with Sidney Mintz interpretation of colonial Caribbean plantations as "landmark experiments of modernity", the paper proposes an analytical model for world historical change as a periphery-driven phenomenon.

panel P129
Marx @200: historical materialism for today's world [IUAES Commission on Global Transformations and Marxian Anthropology]