This panel explores the emergence of new political subjectivities in contexts of intense neoliberalisation. We invite papers that discuss how neoliberal subjectivities and circumvention of state institutions have been replaced by new subjectivities and forms of political action.
In the last few decades, many Latin American countries have experienced a deregulation of markets, a rolling-back and remaking of the state, and an extension of the market into ever more spheres of everyday life. With the intensification of neoliberalism in some Latin American regions, actors from the socio-economic margins saw their hopes to become integrated into the formal economy and overcome their economic insecurity truncated. Instead, these actors experienced the pressures of a process of 'making neoliberal selves,' through which they were called upon to become risk-taking entrepreneurs who took on responsibility for their lives. In this context, a shift took place from collective to ever more individualised forms of identity and political subjectivities, which effectively resulted in a fragmentation of existing collectivities. Where a process of neoliberalisation has coincided with corrupt state authorities, a flawed judiciary or overlapping criminal and political networks (narco-states), individuals have withdrawn from exercising their citizenship rights. Likewise, where state responsiveness to people's concerns is low, we have seen increasing disaffection vis-à-vis government, and in turn the abandonment of political participation. Our panel seeks to explore examples in which atomised subjectivity has been overcome and individuals who had formerly circumvented the state have begun to engage anew in political action or have forged new political subjectivities. We would like to bring to the fore forms of citizenship and 'informal politics' (Day 2008) that have remained outside of political analysis or have been negatively represented because they do not match normative expectations of political behaviour.