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The Limits of Neoliberalism
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The Limits of Neoliberalism
Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition

Revised Edition


November 2016 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Brilliant...explains how the rhetoric of competition has invaded almost every domain of our existence.”
Evgeny Morozov, author of "To Save Everything, Click Here"

“In this fascinating book Davies inverts the conventional neoliberal practice of treating politics as if it were mere epiphenomenon of market theory, demonstrating that their version of economics is far better understood as the pursuit of politics by other means."
Professor Philip Mirowski, University of Notre Dame

"A sparkling, original, and provocative analysis of neoliberalism. It offers a distinctive account of the diverse, sometimes contradictory, conventions and justifications that lend authority to the extension of the spirit of competitiveness to all spheres of social life…This book breaks new ground, offers new modes of critique, and points to post-neoliberal futures.”
Professor Bob Jessop, University of Lancaster

Since its intellectual inception in the 1930s and its political emergence in the 1970s, neo-liberalism has sought to disenchant politics by replacing it with economics.

This agenda-setting text examines the efforts and failures of economic experts to make government and public life amenable to measurement, and to re-model society and state in terms of competition. In particular, it explores the practical use of economic techniques and conventions by policy-makers, politicians, regulators and judges and how these practices are being adapted to the perceived failings of the neoliberal model.

By picking apart the defining contradiction that arises from the conflation of economics and politics, this book asks: to what extent can economics provide government legitimacy?

Now with a new preface from the author and a foreword by Aditya Chakrabortty. 
 
The Disenchantment of Politics: Neoliberalism, Sovereignty and Economics
 
The Promise and Paradox of Competition: Markets, Competitive Agency and Authority
 
The Liberal Spirit of Economics: Competition, Anti-Trust and the Chicago Critique of Law
 
The Violent Threat of Management: Competitiveness, Strategy and the Audit of Political Decision
 
Contingent Neoliberalism: Financial Crisis and beyond
 
Afterword: Critique in and of Neoliberalism

William Davies has made a substantial contribution to the study of neoliberal doctrine and policy-making. The book is a must for those writing in any way on neoliberalism and not unnecessarily difficult in relation to the complex topic it charts. It clearly breaks new ground by shedding light on debates beyond the most famous neoliberal intellectuals, debates that not many critical scholars until recently have seriously engaged with.

Johan Pries
People, Place and Policy

Sample Materials & Chapters

Davies - The Limits of Neoliberalism - Chapter 1


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