• National Renewal in the discourse of Neoliberal Transition in Britain and Chile

      Mansel, Jon; Urbina, Maria; Watkins, Heather (Routledge, 2018-11-22)
      The term neoliberalism became associated with processes of economic and social restructuring in various parts of the world during the latter years of the twentieth century. While the importance of these processes is undisputed, the extent to which neoliberalism constitutes a coherent and consistent ideology, or merely a contingent and contextual set of broadly related policies, remains a source of contention. In this article we explore this question through a comparative analysis of the political discourse of neoliberal transition in Britain and Chile. Drawing on the model of historical comparison developed by Antonio Gramsci, we argue that these two countries represent paradigm cases of the constitutional and authoritarian routes to neoliberalism. However, by focusing on the discourses of national renewal in the speeches and writings of Margaret Thatcher and Augusto Pinochet, we argue that both cases rest on a particular articulation of the themes of coercion and consent. As such, we suggest that while each paradigm articulates these themes in distinct ways, it is the relationship between the two that is essential to the political ideology of neoliberalism, as the coercive construction of consensus in Chile and the consensual construction of coercion in Britain.