Neoliberalism, the Global Capitalist Crisis, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement

  • Levin Welch


This chapter provides an explanation for the rise and fall of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a social movement “from bellow” that dared to “dream dangerously” in the wake of the most devastating economic crisis the United States had experienced since the Great Depression. Scholars and analysts have documented extensively the structural underpinnings of the Great Recession in the United States (December 2007 to June 2009 [official timeline]) and the 2008 financial collapse as consequences of neoliberal political economic policies that have led to some of the most dramatic increases in economic, political, and social inequality since the 1930s. The Occupy Wall Street movement was an outcome of the contradictions of contemporary capitalism and capitalist crisis in the first decade of the twenty-first century. This chapter is a narrative reconstruction of Occupy Wall Street’s online discourse that stems from an inquiry into the origins and development of the Occupy Wall Street movement that emerged in 2011. It is a product of a research project that I undertook as the Occupy movement evolved into a full-blown political response to the prevailing neoliberal capitalist order.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Levin Welch
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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