Recent contributions to the study of neoliberalism have made considerable advances in transcending the dichotomy between understandings of the concept either as an ‘ideology’ or as a monolithic ‘structure’. In particular, the Variegated Neoliberalization (VNLT) approach has proposed an understanding of neoliberalism that relies on a path-dependent moment (i.e. the ‘uneven development of neoliberalization’) which is then followed by a path-shaping moment (i.e. the ‘neoliberalization of regulatory uneven development’). Such a perspective allows us to understand both systemic and contingent tendencies in neoliberalization processes across different geographies, transcending the socially constructed North–South divide. However, the VNLT approach has encountered a number of critiques, particularly in relation to its treatment of agency. In order to transcend these critiques and propose a more nuanced understanding of ways agents reflexively and recursively interpret and deepen – or refrain from deepening – neoliberal norms, I turn to the Strategic-Relational Approach (SRA) proposed by [Jessop, B. (2001). Institutional re(turns) and the strategic – relational approach. Environment and Planning A, 33(7), 1213–1235]. Through the SRA, it becomes possible to pinpoint both instances of ‘structured coherence’ and ‘patterned incoherence’ resulting from agential reflexivity in different contexts of neoliberalization. I will therefore turn to cases where these two patterns can be observed in the context of Euro-Mediterranean policies – that is, Morocco’s ‘structured coherence’ due to its internalized and deepening neoliberalization, and Egypt’s ‘patterned incoherence’ as a result of its still uneven development of neoliberalization.

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Keywords Variegated Neoliberalization, strategic relational approach, Euro-Mediterranean policies, Morocco-Egypt, diffusion
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Journal Globalizations
Knio, M.K.A. (2019). Diffusion of Variegated Neoliberalization processes in Euro-Mediterranean Policies. Globalizations, 16(6), 934–947. doi:10.1080/14747731.2018.1560181