Neoliberal reforms and public policies: ideological hegemony and the redefinition of the State - society relationships

The neoliberal narrative - production of ideas, images, values - describes and intends to explain the supposed nonsense of the social world "politically regulated". For a reformation of public services, it pinpoints the supremacy of market as a mechanism that grants resources (efficiency) as well as it generates justice, equity and liberty. It outlines the imminence of doom to better convey messianic proposals. Under this scope, the other visions of the world are accused of being subservient to "special interests" or of representing a new kind of populist strategy at war with the State... using the very powers of the State. Conventional indicators (economical growth, social welfare) cannot detect the neoliberal conquest of hegemony. Besides, such narrative does not mean only, or mainly, defining the right answers to the problems, but which are the right problems and in which terms they should be addressed. Its purpose is both to modify drastically the shared topics and values so that any possible alternative be relegated to the depreciatory ground of the unthinkable and to deeply reshape the spaces and processes in which relevant social choices are made.

Neoliberalism; Public policies; Hegemony; Democracy; Ideology


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