Helena Mattsson is professor in theory and history at KTH School of Architecture. Her publications include Swedish Modernism: Architecture, Consumption, and the Welfare State, Swedish Modernism at the Crossroads, and Arkitektur och konsumtion: Reyner Banham och utbytbarhetens estetik.
Architecture and urbanism have contributed to one of the most sweeping transformations of our times. Over the past four decades, neoliberalism has not only been a dominant paradigm in politics, but a process of bricks and mortar in everyday life. Rather than to ask what a neoliberal architecture looks like, or how architecture represents neoliberalism, this volume examines the multivalent role of architecture and urbanism in geographically variable yet interconnected processes of neoliberal transformation across scales—from China, Turkey, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico, the US, Britain, Sweden, and Czechoslovakia. Analyzing how buildings and urban projects in different regions since the 1960s have served in the implementation of concrete policies such as privatization, fiscal reform, deregulation, state restructuring, and the expansion of free trade, contributors reveal neoliberalism as a process marked by historical contingency. Neoliberalism on the Ground fundamentally reframes accepted narratives of both neoliberalism and postmodernism by demonstrating how architecture has articulated changing relationships between state, society, and economy since the 1960s.