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I am an American. In America, the term “neoliberal” is not used at all in common political conversation. I encounter it solely when speaking to people from other countries on the Internet. It seems to describe certain aspects of (at least claimed) “free-market” or “capitalist” ideology held by politicians that are disliked by the person using the term.

Unlike other “neo-“ terms with which I am familiar (mainly “neoconservative”, as that is actually used in the United States by some people to identify themselves), I have never heard of a person or a movement that identifies themselves as “neoliberal”.

Has anyone ever used the term “neoliberal” to identify themselves? Is this word ever used non-pejoratively? Why do people who do not like what the “neoliberals” want so compelled to call them “neoliberal”?

  • My impression is that the pejorative use of the term neoliberalism really went mainstream after the financial crisis and with the rise of social media. Neoliberalism was (is?) basically the mainstream normative theory of economics. – Colin Jul 28 at 3:46
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The Adam Smith Institute, a British think tank, describes itself as "neo-liberal".

  • That’s an interesting example because it seems like they’re trying to change the term from being pejorative. – Joe Jul 28 at 2:59
  • I read an academic article where the author suggested that the ASI was trolling, but I can't remember the reference (even after two weeks!). – Matthew Aug 10 at 22:01

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