Neoliberalism is a term for different social and economic ideas. Originally the term was used by a group of liberals who helped shape social market economy in the mid 20th century. Neoliberalism is characterized by free market trade, deregulation of financial markets, individualisation, and the shift away from state welfare provision.
Characteristics of neoliberalismEdit
Increasingly, the market fails to yield fair or equitable outcomes. 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 antithetical to 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.
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.