The spatialities of actually existing neoliberalism in Glasgow, 1977 to present

Mark Boyle, Christopher McWilliams, Gareth Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Resisting the temptation to view the neoliberalization of urban policy as unidirectional, pure and hegemonic, this article sets out to make sense of the biography of the process in one city in particular, Glasgow. It attempts to organize, marshall and discipline existing literature on the city's local economic, planning and welfare policies, so as to offer a longitudinal reading of Glasgow's encounter with neoliberal reform across the period 1977 to the present. The article questions whether Glasgow's new political-economic dispensation is capable of stabilizing local capitalist social relations and securing a new local growth trajectory. Space emerges as a critical part of the story. Neoliberalism has interlaced with historical structures, ideologies and policies to produce a range of new hybrid and mutant socio-spatial formations and because it does not amount to a pure and coordinated project these socio-spatial formations contradict and collide as often as they reinforce. Precisely because of the contingent and complicated spatialities it deposits, neoliberalism will continue to struggle to secure a regulatory framework capable of stabilizing local accumulation indefinitely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalGeografiska Annaler: B: Human Geography
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


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