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11867 - Neoliberal State under Cross-Fire

Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) implemented the neoliberal model in Peru against the opposition of the ruling elites as well as the most of the so-called civil society. Following questions rise: How the neoliberal model could be implemented within a relative short time against the opposition of the majority of the (civil) society and become hegemonic (Foucault)? I argue that two factors contributed decisively to the implementation of the neoliberal model in Peru: 1) the proclaimed necessity of stabilizing macroeconomic conditions combined with 2) efforts to suppress revolutionary leftist organizations PCP (Communist Party of Peru, better known as Shining Path) and MRTA (Revolutionary Movement Túpac Amaru). Nevertheless, Fujimori’s neoliberal project would not have become hegemonic in the Peruvian society without achieving a consensus among important parts of the so-called civil society and without neutralising the opposition poles among the under class. These objectives were principally achieved through two instruments: first, through a massive ideological and political campaign, for that the Fujimori’s regime controlled the mass media. Second, an extensive social policy was instrumentalised in favour of the regime. This case rises the question of the construction of hegemony. The fact that organisations of the social movements, traditionally enemies of the neoliberal project, were gained for Fujimori’s project shows that the civil society is a place of the construction of hegemony (Gramsci). The co-optation of these organisations shall not be understood as a pure manipulation of the necessities of the under class. Despite of the validity of this assertion, it is necessary to analyse how interests are perceived, represented and enforced, how discourses are received and reproduced, how act and re-act rulers, elites and social and political actors, how a model of political articulation is formed and transformed (Hirsch).

Keywords: Hegemony, State, Guerrilla Movements

Author: Ruiz Torres, Guillermo (Freie Universität Berlin, Belgium / Belgien)

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