3245 Law, Neoliberalism and the Political Economy I

Room: C4.07


Neoliberalism and its political economy has radically changed the way in which we conceive the state, the law and the socio-political relationship among citizens, states and corporations. Additionally, neoliberalism has redefined the concept of rights and the notion of humanity. However, neoliberalism is not a monolithic concept, but rather it represents a series of ideas, practices and manifestations of power and capitalist-economy that need to be analysed from a socio-legal perspective. This session aims to reflect on the nature of the ideological, legal and political processes of transformations neoliberalism entails and on the effects that this set of ideas has had in the Global North and Global South. Drawing from case studies and historical experiences, the session will discuss the multiple dimension that neoliberalism, law and political economy entails. Experiences, such as the uses of the state of exception as a strategy to tackle economic crisis; the analysis of the intimate relationship between neoliberalism and exceptionality in both the Global North and South; the exclusive inclusion of workers within the Labour laws and regulations; corporate power and corporate criminality; the effects of austerity measures on society; and the systematic uses of laws to generalized the violence of austerity are some of the examples of the cases and exercises of economic-legal power this session aims to discuss (Session organized by Jose Atiles and David Whyte).


Chair: Jose Atiles | CES/FCT

Vickie Cooper | Open University, UK

Political Economy, Law and Banishment




This paper explores the role the law plays in the political economy of banishment.  It does so with reference to two populations in contemporary Britain: the homeless and women offenders.  Those examples are used because they both show in different ways how law plays an active role in constructing how particular spaces are deemed ‘dangerous’ and how this drives a violent politics of banishment.  In this sense, it sets out a political economy of law in which the banishment is the means used to control subordinate populations.

Anne Alvesalo-Kuusi | University of Turku

Juha Lavapuro | University of Turku

Elina Pirjanniemi | Åbo Akademi

Well-founded fear before and after the ”refugee crisis”




Our paper will adress the changes in the desicions made by the Finnish immigration service before and after the ”refugee crisis”. Our presentation is based on quantitative, qualitative and legal analyses of original cases. Our focus is to critically analyse the shifting interpretations of the concept  ” well-founded fear” , and the contextual causes behind these interpretations.

Daniel Jimenez | Universidad de Zaragoza

Alejandro Forero-Cuéllar | Universitat de Barcelona

Spain. On the Neoliberal Ban and the Production of Political Automatons




This paper presents a critique of the debtocratic criminal policies implemented by the market-state in Spain under the ongoing recessionary cycle, and their mirror-images found in the state’s monopoly on the use of force – penal policies in particular, and punitive control on a more general level.
That double focus refers to a massive production process of social harm and a schizophrenic process of re-criminalization. In other words: during the last decade, the Spanish Neoliberal Ban implied a definitive break on the ‘security’ of a social majority, and therefore on ‘political illusion of citizenship’, and ‘political economy of crime and punishment’.
As a result of this institutional production of harm, exceptionism appears as the basic structural (and structuring) element of a ‘New Normal’ where post-modern capitalist growth is based on four main pillars: dispossession, over-exploitation, abandonment, and de-politisation.
Thus, we support that such notions as exception, ban, or necropolitics are useful tools for the analysis of a ‘new’ cycle of accumulation by invasion-banishment-looting, under three paradigms: fracking, camp, and drone.



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