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Demias-Morisset, Raphaël. “Anglo-American Neoliberalism: An Illiberal Model?.” In The Anglo-American Model of Neoliberalism of the 1980s: Construction, Development and Dissemination, pp. 81-96. Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2022.


This chapter aims to examine the potential illiberal nature of Anglo-American neoliberalism. Its assumption is that illiberalism is a key to understanding the economic, political, and potentially institutional transformations that took place under Thatcher and Reagan. The Anglo-American governments of the 1980s would thus constitute a model that, being both neoliberal and illiberal, is relevant to understanding the contemporary growth of “illiberalism.” Indeed, this hypothesis should help explain the tactical alliance between neoliberals and populist-nationalist-conservatives. The chapter will therefore begin by showing the lack of thought given to certain contradictions in the definition of the neoliberal market economy, which largely invalidates the over-simplistic representation of the relationship between the rule of law and the free market. Outlining this first break between liberalism and neoliberalism will then make it possible to establish a link between phenomena that are not often compared, because of the conceptual and semantic confusions that surround these questions.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.