Alessandro Somma

Progressive neoliberalism and its critics: A debate on redistribution, recognition and anti-capitalism

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This paper analyzes some issues at the core of the debate within the area once occupied by the historical left. It starts with a focus on the use of civil rights rhetoric as a replacement of social rights commitment. It then deals with the critique of such use, seen as a typical trait of what has been defined in terms of progressive neoliberalism. Even if this expression is able to describe a drift characterizing recent developments within the so-called radical left, also those who are in favor of a revival of redistributive issues often surrender to neoliberal orthodoxy. Moreover, their critique of recognition issues is ambiguous, since it is not limited to their use as an alibi to set aside redistributive issues. The paper ends with a discussion around the solutions proposed to tackle the climate change crisis, analyzed as a point of reference to test the debate on progressive neoliberalism


  • neoliberalism
  • progressive neoliberalism
  • recognition
  • redistribution
  • German left


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