How did the economic and political ideas we know as 'neo liberalism' amalgamate and become the defining orthodoxy of our times? In this book, Robison and his contributors explore the seemingly inexorable global spread of market economies and how neo-liberal agendas are accommodated or hijacked in collisions with authoritarian states and populist oligarchies across Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Russia and China. At the same time, the book examines how the neo-liberal agenda is driven by shifting conflicts within, from a conflict between the 'rich and the markets' and by the neo-conservative challenge. It asks about the neo-liberal future. With its inherent distrust of politics and fear of society does neo-liberalism ultimately require an illiberal state defined by techno-managerial rule or does it invariably invite descent into populist social contracts?