Performing neoliberalization through urban infrastructure: twenty years of privatization policies around Thessaloniki's port

Karaliotas, L. (2017) Performing neoliberalization through urban infrastructure: twenty years of privatization policies around Thessaloniki's port. Environment and Planning A, 49(7), pp. 1556-1574. (doi:10.1177/0308518X17699609)

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Abstract

This paper mobilizes the trajectory of privatization policies around Thessaloniki's port as an entry point to explore the neoliberalization of urban infrastructure politics in Greece since the late 1990s. It asks how neoliberalization policies around the port were conceptually legitimized and traces their implications for urban infrastructure governance. In doing so, it draws from a reading of neoliberalism as a performative discourse. This understanding allows analyzing the contingent and situated articulation of neoliberalization discourses as well as the context-specific implications of neoliberalization. The paper suggests that since the late 1990s neoliberalization discourses in Greece were articulated with discourses of modernization. This coupling was mutually reinforcing for the two rationalities. On the one hand, successive rounds of neoliberal policies around the port were conceptually legitimized through functionalist references to the modern. On the other, performing neoliberalization constituted a key strategy in maintaining state legitimacy. Within such a configuration, successive failures and limitations of neoliberal polic(y)ing were (re-)inscribed in discourses of neoliberalization. Tracing the emergence and workings of this articulation in the case of Thessaloniki's port, the paper also examines how successive rounds of neoliberalization consolidated, through failing forward, forms of governance beyond democratic accountability geared around consensus formation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Research for this project was supported by an Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation Scholarship (F-ZG 037/ 2010–2011).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Karaliotas, Dr Lazaros
Authors: Karaliotas, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Journal Name:Environment and Planning A
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0308-518X
ISSN (Online):1472-3409
Published Online:26 March 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Author
First Published:First published in Environment and Planning A 49(7): 1556-1574
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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