The retreat from neoliberalism that was not

Australia's Building the Education Revolution

Jean Parker, Damien Cahill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the durability of neoliberalism in the face of crisis by analysing the Building the Education Revolution (BER), a key part of the Australian Labor Government’s stimulus measures in response to the global financial crisis in 2009. The fiscal stimulus measures enacted by governments in the aftermath of the crisis led many commentators to herald the end of neoliberalism. By examining the design of the BER, however, this article finds that one of the key policy tools of neoliberalism–the outsourcing of public sector capacity–was extended through such stimulus programs. The article argues that a materialist analysis of neoliberalism is better able to understand this phenomenon than the recent tendency to analyse neoliberalism in ideational terms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-271
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Australian Labor Party
  • crisis
  • neoliberalism
  • social democracy

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