Nine Lives of Neoliberalism

Dieter Plehwe
Level: advanced
Publisher: Verso Books
Perspective: Other
Topic: Capitalism, Crisis, financialization, mainstream critique
page count: 368 pages

Blurb

Neoliberalism is dead. Again. After the election of Trump and the victory of Brexit in 2016, many diagnosed the demise of the ideology of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Augusto Pinochet, and the WTO. Yet the philosophy of the free market and the strong state has an uncanny capacity to survive and even thrive in crisis. Understanding neoliberalism's longevity and its latest permutation requires a more detailed understanding of its origins and its varieties. This volume breaks with the caricature of neoliberalism as a simple belief in market fundamentalism and homo economicus to show how neoliberal thinkers perceived institutions from the family to the university, disagreed over issues from intellectual property rights and human behavior to social complexity and monetary order, and sought to win consent for their project through the creation of new honors, disciples, and networks. Far from a monolith, neoliberal thought is fractured and, occasionally, even at war with itself. We can begin by making sense of neoliberalism's nine lives by sorting out its own tangled histories.

Book summary

Given the criticality of the current economic and political juncture, this collection of articles on neoliberalism provides a rather timely intervention. The collection explores the heterogeneities and the various aspects that encompass the ‘neoliberal thought style’. It examines how the project of neoliberalism goes beyond the commonly (mis)understood reasoning of market fundamentalism and homoeconomicus, and encompasses various political, ideological, and other ‘extra-economic’ processes that create and sustain the neoliberal order. The volume, through an evaluation of these different processes, explores the complexity of this project and how it has evolved historically.


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This project is brought to you by the Network for Pluralist Economics (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.).  It is committed to diversity and independence and is dependent on donations from people like you. Regular or one-off donations would be greatly appreciated.