The German neoliberals

As discussed last month, the term ‘neoliberal’ – though undergoing a shift and then disintegration of meaning along the way – seems to have started in Germany in the middle decades of the 20th century, been taken up in Chile in the 1960s by ‘neoliberal’ supporters, been taken over in subsequent decades by Latin American critics of markets, adopted by US academics from the Latin Americans, before arriving via them in Australia in the 1990s, with the term squeezing out ‘economic rationalism’ in the 2000s and being given mass media profile by Kevin Rudd’s Monthly essay.

My CIS colleague Oliver Hartwich, who being German is able to read the original ‘neoliberal’ material, has a paper out today on their ideas. Here’s the op-ed version for those preferring a summary.

2 Responses to “The German neoliberals

  • 1
    charles
    May 21st, 2009 20:24

    Perhaps it’s the prefix ‘neo’ that has changed it’s meaning. I don’t think anyone would be using it today to label a ‘softer way’.

    Perhaps it is nothing more than something losing it’s meaning in translation, after all you are claiming a path through three languages.

  • 2
    Don Arthur
    May 21st, 2009 23:16

    “Perhaps it is nothing more than something losing it’s meaning in translation, after all you are claiming a path through three languages.”

    Neoliberalismus, neoliberalismo, neoliberalism.