Environmental neoliberalism in Southeast Asia

Authored by: Keith Barney

Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415625210
eBook ISBN: 9781315474892
Adobe ISBN: 9781315474885


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In the past decade, a vast and largely critical academic literature has been established around the concept of neoliberalism and, as an extension, on neoliberal environments. Conceived as an ‘ideology of the market’ (Block, 2003) and as a radical form of ‘market fundamentalism’ (Stiglitz, 2002; Hilgers, 2010), neoliberal economic ideology and practice have represented a powerful force for reorganizing economic, political, social and ecological relations worldwide over the past 30 years. In Southeast Asian studies, scholars have applied and refined approaches to environmental neoliberalism (or neoliberal natures) as a way of understanding the intense ecological and socio-natural transformations ongoing in the region. At its core, environmental neoliberalism seeks to conceive of, manage and govern natural environments and environmental politics through the establishment of free markets, and through the knowledge systems, norms, institutions and rationalities of a competitive neoliberal-capitalist society. 1

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