This thread sets the table for the entire seminar by exploring neoliberalism and populism’s shared itineraries. How have their histories intertwined, whether as allies or antagonists? Early Mont Pèlerin Society neoliberals (in the late 1940s) reacted to the totalizing state power sought by fascism, the same movement to which today’s neopopulists appeal for slogans and iconography. Yet neoliberalism has often made common cause with authoritarian governments dating as far back as the Chicago School’s advisory role for the post-1973 coup Pinochet government in Chile.
How are neopopulists continuous with or different from earlier national-populist mobilizations? And how has neoliberalism framed its relationship to governmental authority so long as it supports market rationality?