chapter
Conclusions
Can All Couples ‘Live Happily Ever After’ in Neoliberal Societies?
Pages 7

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the key concepts covered in this book. The book examines the values that have influenced the politics of marriage within a neoliberal context and the instabilities and contradictions confronted by policy makers and other political actors. It demonstrates that due to the diversity of families, there is a strong case to be made for increased policy attention to adult relationships — and a much weaker case for marriage. The book explores the values and conflicts surrounding marriage addressed a wide range of factors that governments confront in policy developments. It illustrates how, broadly speaking, the three neoliberal democracies under investigation hold comparable relationship values about marriage and about what is desirable, yet these values trigger many conflicting responses, as they have multiple meanings. The book also recognises the significance of the early encounters waged by activists around same-sex marriage, particularly in the US.