Unsettling the memes of neoliberal capitalism through administrative pragmatism

C. F. Abel, Karen Kunz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter delves into the adversities public organizations face due to neoliberal ideologies and the adoption of the neoliberal capitalist agenda, which has led to notable economic, political, and social disruptions. Despite these outcomes, the neoliberal influence continues to grow, a scenario posited not on practical or theoretical merit, but on the spread of specific identifiable memes. The discussion critically analyzes current neoliberal memes and evaluates their impact on government, society, and the economy, while also proposing alternative memes inspired by a Smithian political economy viewpoint. Through this analysis and the suggested memes, the chapter recommends a pragmatic cultural and administrative approach that could not only diminish the sway of neoliberal memes and curb the spread of harmful new memeplexes, but also address the conventional skepticism towards government agencies and their top-down, detached, technical, and expert-led solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Perspectives on International Public Sector Management
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameCritical Perspectives on International Public Sector Management
ISSN (Print)2045-7944
ISSN (Electronic)2045-7952

ASJC Scopus Subject Areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


  • Adam Smith
  • Memes
  • Neoliberal
  • Political economy
  • Pragmatic democracy
  • Public administration

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