The Biopolitics of Neoliberal Governance
Amid the burgeoning financial crisis, the Group of Twenty (G-20) met for the 2008 Washington Summit, attended by President Zapatero of the ruling Socialist party (PSOE), where the world’s wealthiest nations called for concerted international cooperation to reform the financial sector favorable to reviving global flows of capital. The many points identified in the declaration may have been a legible indicator that the world’s leading economic powers were coming to terms with the responsibility of unethical business practices and systemic flaws, among other factors, in the successive tumbling of international markets in a domino effect (Declaration of the Summit, 2008). Yet, despite the nuances of different policy positions in the European Union at large, political and financial powers have interpreted the need for “structural reform” as the basis from which to pursue deeper austerity measures and labor laws favoring precarity, thereby dismantling the welfare state and social rights in Spain under the aegis of neoliberal reform. According to this logic, as the G-20 declaration asserts, greater competition, private investments, and the surveillance and tempered regulation of the free market—in sum, free market activity with minimal state intervention, as deemed necessary—equate directly to greater opportunity, entrepreneurship, and prosperity that deliver poverty reduction and a higher standard of living on a global scale.