political philosophy that supports economic liberalization

Neoliberalism is a term for different social and economic ideas. There is no agreed definition.[1] Originally the term was used by a group of liberals who helped shape social market economy in the mid 20th century. Classic liberalism is characterized by free market trade, deregulation of financial markets, mercantilism and the shift away from state welfare provision.

Alexander Rustow was the first economist to develop this concept, looking after a Social Democracy system rather than a Laissez Faire Capitalist Society.

Characteristics of Neoliberalism


In the application of neoliberal ideals, the state might also intervene and regulate, for example, to prevent exploitation, or to ensure social fairness and equality.

Neoliberalism is against the protection of group - rather than individual - interests, for example, that might be achieved through lobbying of groups, or state interventions that protect national interests via tariffs or subsidies.

Neoliberalism has moved away from a centrally governed economy.

Contemporary use


Since the 1990s the term has been consistently used in academia to imply the move from welfare state to laissez faire economic management, particularly associated with the promotion of free market ideals in the late 1980s by Margaret Thatcher in the UK and Ronald Reagan in the US.

Examples of neoliberal regimes of Government



  1. Mudge, Stephanie (26 August 2008). "What is neo-liberalism?". Retrieved 2023-11-11.