Research Essay_ POLITICAL ECONOMICS_ECOP Neoliberalism: Theory, Practice, Crisis

Research Essay 1 asks you to write a 2000 word paper that addresses the focus questions, uses the resources and follows the instructions as outlined below. In your answer you should make reference to some of the different scholarly interpretations of neoliberalism.

The documentary will be shown in the lectures in Week 6 (i.e. the week beginning September 28). It can also be purchased online or viewed through YouTube.

You might find it useful to examine the book upon which the documentary is based:

Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, The Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2002),


and to read critical reviews of the book and the documentary, such as:

Mark Berger, ‘Up from neoliberalism: free market mythologies and the coming crisis of global capitalism’, Third World Quarterly 20(2), 1999, pp. 453-463.

This essay encourages you to reflect critically upon the different scholarly interpretations of the nature of neoliberalism, and the forces responsible for it. It also prompts consideration of the nature of the economy and economic change more generally.

These are issues that you will naturally consider in the course of the tutorials throughout the semester, and the essay focuses your attention on these issues and asks for a detailed and considered judgement.

You are strongly encouraged to use the required and further readings set for Tutorial 10: Explaining Neoliberalism as the starting point for your consideration of the different scholarly understandings of neoliberalism. You need not limit yourself to these readings, however.

Your essay will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Clarity of expression
  • Development of an argument and use of supporting evidence
  • Understanding of scholarly debates about neoliberalism
  • Correct use of citations
  • Ability to use the documentary to illuminate the nature of neoliberalism and its various scholarly interpretations.


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