School of Geography

Eighth David M Smith lecture

24 November 2011

Time: 6:00 - 7:00pm
Venue: Drapers' Lecture Theatre, Geography Building


Fast policy, at the limits of neoliberalism

Professor Jamie Peck
University of British Columbia

Chair: Professor Morag Shiach, 
Vice Principal for Humanities and Social Sciences 
Queen Mary, University of London


The lecture will explore the phenomenon of globalizing “fast policy,” a form of contemporary policy development characterized by accelerated, transnational emulation and by continuous, multi-site mutation. The post-financial crisis reinvention of neoliberalism, as the prevailing form of market-oriented governance, provides the context for the analysis, both conceptually and historically. Contemporary forms of neoliberalization, it is argued, are being realized and reproduced through historically distinctive processes of fast policy formation. This calls for new forms of critical policy analysis, specifically concerned with the construction, circulation, and contradictions of rapidly diffusing policy norms, models, and practices. This “policy mobilities” approach is exemplified by way of a comparative analysis of two fast-moving policy innovations, both of which are associated with “silver bullet” policy models, and both of which have traveled “up hill,” from the global South to the global North: participatory budgeting (PB) and conditional cash transfers(CCTs). Both policies originated in Latin America in the 1990s, but have since been widely propagated around the world. They are also positioned, in historical terms and maybe also as policy rationalities, at the edges or “limits” of neoliberalization.

Jamie Peck is Canada Research Chair in Urban & Regional Political Economy and Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The recipient of Guggenheim and Harkness fellowships, he was previously Professor of Geography & Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Professor of Geography at the University of Manchester, and has held visiting positions at Johns Hopkins, the National University of Singapore, University of the Witwatersrand, the University of Melbourne, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Oslo, and Queen’s Belfast. Jamie Peck’s research interests include the political economy of neoliberalization, the politics of policy formation and mobility, economic governance, labor market theory and policy, and urban restructuring. His publications include Constructions of neoliberal reason (2010), Contesting neoliberalism: urban frontiers (2007, coedited with Helga Leitner & Eric Sheppard), Workfare states (2001), Work-place: the social regulation of labor markets (1996), and the forthcoming Wiley- Blackwell Companion to Economic Geography (2012, coedited with Trevor Barnes & Eric Sheppard). His current research is concerned with the reproduction of transnational policy norms and questions of metropolitan governance.

A wine reception will follow the lecture.

RSVP to:
Dr Amy Tan
Research and Teaching Officer
School of Geography
Queen Mary, University of London
Mile End Road
London E1 4NS

Tel. ++44 (0)20 7882 8129
Fax  ++44 (0)20 7882 7032
Email a.tan@qmul.ac.uk