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Saad Filho, Alfredo and Ayers, Alison J. (2015) 'Democracy Against Neoliberalism: Paradoxes, Limitations, Transcendence.' Critical Sociology, 41 (4-5). pp. 597-618.

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Procedural (formal, liberal, capitalist or bourgeois) democracy is the political form of neoliberalism, and it dominates political thought and state practice today. This modality of management of class relations is currently in crisis, expressed through the evacuation of politics, the erosion of civil liberties and the emergence of authoritarian governance. This article offers a Marxist critique of neoliberal democracy, concluding that neoliberalism is incompatible with the expansion of democracy into key areas of social life. This is expressed by six paradoxes of democracy. Conversely, the expansion of democracy can provide an effective lever for the abolition of neoliberalism. This approach is promising for three reasons: first, the expansion of democracy is valuable in itself. Second, the contradictions between economic and political democracy illuminate the limitations of contemporary capitalism. Third, struggles about the nature and content of democracy can throw into question the limitations of capitalism as a mode of production.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Published online before print February 3, 2014.
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 08969205
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 12:24

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