Authoritarian Neoliberalism: Its Ideological Antecedents and Policy Manifestations from Carl Schmitt’s Political Economy of Governance

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Bonn Juego


The regime of authoritarian neoliberalism is underway. In contemporary political economy of governance, this regime has been construed as a crisis response of the capitalist class to manage the conflict-ridden consequences of economic globalization; and, as an ideological project of a section of the ruling elites to justify the embedding of market-oriented development processes in a politically repressive government institution. To contribute to recent scholarship attempts at defining the character and tendencies of this emergent regime, the article traces one of its key ideological antecedents from Carl Schmitt’s earlier formulation for a “strong state, free economy”. It then presents a survey of how this concept articulating the compatibility of authoritarianism and capitalism has manifested in related theories and actual policies since the long twentieth century - notably in: German ordoliberalism, Thatcherism and Reaganomics, the Kirkpatrick Doctrine and Political Development Theory, the Asian Values discourse, and the Effective State and Good Governance agendas. The governing authority in this regime can be called an authoritarian-neoliberal state.

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Author Biography

Bonn Juego, University of Jyväskylä

Bonn Juego is postdoctoral researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. His research areas, teaching responsibilities, and outreach activities are at the intersection of political economy, development studies, and international relations. Correspondence:Bonn Juego, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, P.O. Box 35, Keskussairaalantie2, 40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland; E-mail:

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