History and Contemporary Forms of Neoliberalism

My new book, Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Routledge, 2016), provides a critical guide to a vocabulary that has become globally dominant over the past forty years. The language of neoliberalism both constructs and expresses a particular vision of economics, politics, and everyday life. Some find this vision to be appealing, but many others find the contents and implications of neoliberalism to be alarming. Despite the popularity of these concepts, they often remain confusing, the product of contested histories, meanings, and practices. In an accessible way, this interdisciplinary resource explores and dissects 44 key terms, such as choice, competition, entrepreneurship, finance, and market. In the larger context, my research in this area contributes to two salient questions in the wider literature: (1) what is new about neoliberalism? and (2) how have practices associated with neoliberalism been justified?

Political Economy of Global Trade

I have long standing interests in the political economy of international trade. In my Oxford University Press book, Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization (2013), I explore how different forms of power operate within a major international organisation. Through the theoretical inspiration of Bourdieu, the study plots how developing countries have struggled over recent agricultural trade rules. In current research, I address the broader issue of experts and expertise in making of global trade policy. This project explores the socio-political construction of expertise in order to answer two key questions: (1) how does one become an expert in this field of capitalism? (2) what are the distributional consequences of the privileging of certain expertise over others? The work is particularly focused on the rise of research-intensive civil society groups, such as Oxfam, and how they have contested mainstream policy.


Neoliberalism: The Key Concepts (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).



"This book is a remarkable achievement: it organises the best scholarship on and about neoliberalism, summarises the material around a selected group of key concepts, and presents them clearly, comprehensively, and in beautiful prose. This solid academic work has been carefully written for a wide readership. If you want to learn more about neoliberalism, this book is for you." – Alfredo Saad-Filho, SOAS University of London, UK.

"Since 2008, and the government bail-outs that followed the financial crisis, there has been a flood of interest in neoliberalism. Eagleton-Pierce has done a sterling job in identifying the core themes and concepts and putting them into an accessible and readable volume. Highly recommended."
– Ray Kiely, Queen Mary University of London, UK.

"In the tradition of Raymond Williams’s Keywords, Eagleton-Pierce provides an indispensable guide to decoding the lexicon of neoliberal political-speak. Scholars will find the etymologies highly suggestive, enabling them to contextualize and nuance their analyses of the evolving dynamics of neoliberalism."
– Nik Theodore, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.



Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013).




"A breath of fresh air in a notoriously dry, overly orthodox and all-too-often unimaginative field. Critical, innovative and persuasive throughout, this is the book we should all be reading and a standard by which we should judge future works on the WTO." 
Rorden Wilkinson, University of Sussex.


"A deft adaptation and innovative extension of Bourdieu’s theory of classification struggles to probe the ordinary workings and submerged politics of multilateral negotiations on the global scene. With its intriguing mix of painstaking analytical elaboration and patient empirical parsing, this book sounds a double call for international political economy to add Bourdieu to its conceptual arsenal and to revise its methodologies to grasp how nations battle, rule, or submit beneath and beyond the ambit of material constraint and legal suasion."
Loïc Wacquant, University of California at Berkeley.


"This monograph offers an exciting and long overdue account of symbolic power in international trade politics, from an author who combines great theoretical sophistication with an admirable lightness of touch. As the WTO undergoes a period of post-Doha reflection and reinvention, it stands as a timely and important intervention, offering both a fresh perspective on how we got where we are, as well as a useful conceptual apparatus for rethinking possible futures for this vital organisation" 
Andrew Lang, London School of Economics.


"The contributions of this book are many. In theoretical terms, it pushes the study of power in new directions. Eagleton-Pierce's greatest achievement lies in showing how Bourdieu's symbolic power supplements Foucault's discursive power by bringing agency back in. Further, this book joins a small but important body of literature that approaches political economy from a political sociology perspective." 
– Vincent Pouliot, McGill University.


'The Concept of Governance in the Spirit of Capitalism', Critical Policy Studies, 8 (2014), 1, 5-21.

'The Competing Kings of Cotton: (Re)framing the WTO African Cotton Initiative', New Political Economy, 17 (2012), 3,


'Advancing a Reflexive International Relations', Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 39 (2011), 3, 805-823.

'The Internet and the Seattle WTO Protests', Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice, 13 (2001), 3, 331-337.



'Historicising the Neoliberal Spirit of Capitalism', in Springer, S., Birch, K., and MacLeavy., J. (eds.), The Routledge

Handbook of Neoliberalism (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).

'Symbolic Power and Social Critique in the Making of Oxfam's Trade Policy Research', in Hannah, E., Scott, J., and
         Trommer, S. (eds.), Expert Knowledge in Global Trade (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016).

© 2019 by Matthew Eagleton-Pierce. Proudly made by 

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