Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Political Science


Thomas Halper

Committee Members

Jack Jacobs


Neoliberalism, capitalism, info-liberalism, information capitalism, abstract labor, social media platform, data privacy


Neoliberalism’s promise of economic prosperity has proven itself futile, as growing disparities in inequality have resulted in both developing and developed countries. As neoliberalism has become a major influence in international relations and the global economy, its adaptive capacity has led to the emergence of new forms and functions of capital, especially through commodification and abstract labor. With the rise of information capitalism, neoliberalism has incorporated information of all sorts into the nexus of capitalism. Most especially through the advancement of the Internet and social media platforms, information capitalism reaches its highest form through developing surveillance technology and the brokerage of personal consumer data, which is stately used for marketing purposes. As a result, intrusive target marketing is manipulative and nudging, having adverse effects on individual autonomy. Moreover, as individual consumer information is sold without the individual's knowledge and know-why, infocapitalism produces asymmetrical relationships and perpetuates systemic inequality. As the adaptive capacity of neoliberalism has reshaped the ways of governing, the influence of American governmentality, which encourages digital forms of civil participation and information-sharing, proceeds from the prioritization of an info-liberalism. However, in comparison with authoritarian states and their history, America's info-liberalism projects a neoliberalized governmentality which invokes citizen participation in ways that are remarkably consistent with authoritarianism. Neoliberalism's adaptive capacity is not just transforming the social sphere but also is transforming itself. The emerging hybridization of governmentality from the overlapping political and the social realms is transforming everything, and it is finding its adaptive power in the exploitation and misuse of individual privacy. Current U.S. data privacy law has the potential to regulate not just data brokerage markets but the Internet altogether; yet, upon critical analysis, its laws lack substantial respect for an individual's rights to privacy, so long as it prioritizes the economic innovation, which continues to bolster the disparities of social inequalities.