Political Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Trump’s authoritarian neoliberal governance and the US-Mexican border

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This article considers how US border policy and the rhetorical use of the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico expands our understanding of the authoritarian neoliberal reorganization of the state and processes of capitalist accumulation during the Trump Presidency. Our argument makes an important contribution to the literature by examining how Trump's Border Wall project is an advanced mode of authoritarian neoliberalism. To do so, the article focuses on how the border wall, as an unfinished project that has resulted in the Trump administration invoking eminent domain to take property for dubious “public good” uses related to border wall construction, expands, deepens and reinforces notions of political and economic disciplining of border populations including migrants and refugees in particular ways such as through the use of child separation and “Remain in Mexico” policies. The article situates the border wall project within a continuum of using border imaginary not just as a frontier but as a key node within the global economy. This article argues that the construction of the border wall, as a key issue in the political agenda combined with an aggressive anti-immigration policy, has been an effective populist mechanism to further insulate the deepening of a neoliberal agenda.


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Policy Studies