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Varieties of neoliberalism

Glendinning, Simon (2015) Varieties of neoliberalism. Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, 36 (2). pp. 437-461. ISSN 2153-9197

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Identification Number: 10.5840/gfpj201536226


The term “neoliberalism” is encountered everywhere today. In popular leftist political rhetoric it is often simply a place-holder for “contemporary capitalism,” “austerity politics,” and “all that is bad in our world,” giving that rhetoric the appearance of a new diagnostic edge. However, one could be excused for thinking that its intelligibility is in inverse proportion to its ubiquity. By defining it in terms of its conceptual relationship with classical liberalism, this paper offers a justification for thinking about our time as a period in which a particular “community of ideas” has sought (with some success) to establish a neoliberal hegemony. Doing so reveals, however, that there are in fact a variety of neoliberalisms, and that the period we now inhabit is best conceived in terms of the rise of a distinctively economic variation. Europe’s history is sketched (anachronistically) in terms of shifting patterns and transitions in which neoliberal variants vie for power. Setting those transitions within a wide-angled vision of Europe’s modernity as inseparable from a movement of the decentering of our understanding of “man,” the chance for a new shift is identified – one to be accompanied, no doubt, by “a surge of laughter” that has been heard, regularly and without fail, throughout the entirety of Europe’s history.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 Philosophy Documentation Center
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2016 10:54
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:58

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