Article in "Globalisations"


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Abstract: There is an increasing consensus that, across the globe, austerity policies have often relegated fiscal pressures from the state to the urban scale. These are sometimes discussed under the label ‘austerity urbanism’. This article explores urban authoritarian neoliberalism through an examination of spatial and scalar manifestations of neoliberal restructuring. It asks how austerity urbanism’s rescaling takes effect in spatially variegated ways in the intermediate city of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. I argue that Oaxaca’s austerity programmes and its rescaling of security provision are two intertwined, rather than parallel, processes. The paper builds on and aims to advance the authoritarian neoliberalism literature by linking it to literatures on the postcolonial Latin American state and urban studies. The article makes two contributions: first, it identifies and carves out multi-scalar aspects of authoritarian neoliberalism (by speaking to the urban realm); second, it contributes to the authoritarian neoliberalism literature on the ‘South’. Hence, the aim is to reveal the multi-scalar aspects of authoritarian neoliberalism and to illustrate its explanatory power in the global South.