European Planning Studies 26(9) Special Issue: EPS 25th Anniversary, pp 1728-1746
Neoliberalization is a variegated series of processes with a core policy set that comprises: liberalization, deregulation, privatization, recommodification, internationalization, reductions in direct taxation, and decriminalization of predatory economic activities. Compared to the era of Atlantic Fordism and Spatial Keynesianism, neoliberalization promotes uneven development in the name of competitiveness and pursues policies that largely neglect its adverse economic, social, and political repercussions. Growing inequalities of income, wealth and life-chances have been ascending the political risk agenda and, through works such as Piketty’s Capital in the twenty-first Century, have been ‘conversationalized’. Yet little concrete action occurs to remedy the results of uneven development in societies undergoing neoliberal regime shifts. This contribution relates these issues to Brexit as a symptom of the organic crisis of British society, marked by manifold economic, political and social crises, and the continuing failure to address uneven development. The referendum question falsely posited that Brexiting would resolve many of these problems. However, the real issue should have been ‘in’ or ‘out’ of neoliberalism. Failure to deliver the anticipated benefits of Brexit will interact with the continuing crisis of British society to reinforce environmental, economic, social, and political crises and provide further grounds for right-wing populist mobilization.