Neoliberalism on the Ground

Architecture and Transformation from the 1960s to the Present

The material origins and consequences of the political and economic reasonings of neoliberalism are as pervasive as they are difficult to define. This volume has successfully taken on the challenge of revealing an archive of facts and events that make visible the processes and systems that shaped cities and territories in the past half-century. Neoliberalism on the Ground will greatly expand historical and theoretical understanding and is an indispensable contribution to our comprehension of our present moment.
Timothy Hyde, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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.

about the editors

Kenny Cupers

Kenny Cupers is associate professor of history and theory of architecture and urbanism at the University of Basel, where he co-founded and leads its new division of Urban Studies. His publications include The Social Project: Housing Postwar France, Use Matters: An Alternative History of Architecture, and Spaces of Uncertainty: Berlin Revisited.

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Kenny Cupers
Helena Mattsson

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.

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Helena Mattsson
Catharina Gabrielsson

Catharina Gabrielsson is associate professor in urban theory and docent in architecture at the KTH School of Architecture. Previous co-edited publications include Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies and Deleuze and the City.

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Catharina Gabrielsson