ISSN: 20509790
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 2 Issue 1-2
Cover Date: June 2015
Neo-liberalism: Persistence and resistance
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Authors:  Linus Owens 
DOI: 10.1386/jucs.2.1-2.187_1

neo-liberalism,democracy,squatting,urban movements,policing,militarization

These three books take on varying responses to the forces of neo-liberalism. Jeremy Gilbert’s book Common Ground approaches the problem through theory, seeking to challenge the ideology of individualism at the heart of neo-liberal projects. Drawing on a diverse group of post-structuralist and democratic thinkers, he critiques the neoliberal fear of the crowd, offering an alternative vision of community based on radical creativity and participatory democracy. Claudio Cattaneo and Miguel Martinez, in their edited volume The Squatters’ Movement in Europe, provide a more practical approach to resisting neo-liberal capitalism: urban squatting. Framing squatting as a movement against capitalism and for the right to the city, the contributors document a wide range of case studies across Europe and the United States, describing a movement simultaneously challenging neo-liberal urban development and increasingly under threat by the forces of capital and the state. Lesley J. Wood’s book, Crisis and Control, on the militarization of protest policing investigates these issues from the other side, showing how protest policing is not only a means to defend neo-liberalism, but also caught up within these same forces. She traces militarization as the outcome of growing interactions between local and global forces, the more ambiguous nature of contemporary threats, and a push towards professionalization that links military, security forces, and police more tightly together. Read jointly, these books provide important insights into the ideological and structural conditions underpinning neo-liberalism, as well as efforts to change them.
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