Neoliberalism and Symbolic Boundaries in Europe: Global Diffusion, Local Context, Regional Variation


Studies suggest that the rise of Neoliberalism accompanies a foregrounding of individual responsibility and weakening of community. We provide a theoretical agenda for studying the interactions between the global diffusion of neoliberal policies and ideologies, on the one side, and cultural repertoires and boundary configurations, on the other, in the context of local, national, and regional variation. Exploiting variation in the rate of adoption of neoliberal policies across European societies, we show how levels of neoliberal penetration co-vary with the way citizens draw symbolic boundaries along the lines of ethno-religious otherness and moral deservingness.