Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Neoliberal Citizenship: Sacred Markets, Sacrificial Lives

Mavelli, Luca (2022) Neoliberal Citizenship: Sacred Markets, Sacrificial Lives. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 304 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-285758-3. E-ISBN 978-0-19-285758-3. (doi:10.1093/oso/9780192857583.001.0001) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:99921)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL:


With cosmopolitan illusions put to rest, Europe is now haunted by a pervasive neoliberal transformation of citizenship that subordinates inclusion, protection, and belonging to rationalities of value. Against the backdrop of four major crises—Eurozone, refugee, Brexit, and the COVID-19 pandemic—this book explores how neoliberal citizenship rewrites identities and solidarities in economic terms. The result is a sacralized market order in which those superfluous to economic needs and regarded as unproductive consumers of resources—be they undocumented migrants, debased citizens of austerity, or the elderly in care homes—are excluded and sacrificed for the well-being of the economy. Pushing biopolitical theorizing in novel directions through an investigation of the political economy of scarcity and the theology of the market, Neoliberal Citizenship reveals how a common thread connects the suspension of search-and-rescue missions in the Mediterranean, the punitive bailout of Greece, the widespread adoption of austerity measures, the normalization of racism, the celebration of resilience, and the fact that in Europe and North America, during the first wave of the pandemic, almost half of all COVID-19 deaths were care home residents. This thread is the sacralization of the market that, by making life conditional upon its economic and emotional value, turns ‘less valuable’ individuals into sacrificial subjects. Neoliberal Citizenship challenges established understandings of citizenship, brings to light new regimes of inclusion and exclusion, and advances critical insights on the future of neoliberalism in a post-COVID-19 world.

Item Type: Book
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/oso/9780192857583.001.0001
Uncontrolled keywords: neoliberalism, citizenship, biopolitics, refugee crisis, market, COVID, Brexit
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Luca Mavelli
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2023 09:25 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 10:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.