Archive for the ‘Neoliberalism’ Category

Foster, R.
The therapeutic spirit of neoliberalism
(2016) Political Theory, 44 (1), pp. 82-105.

DOI: 10.1177/0090591715594660

My essay argues that neoliberal forms of government emerged through the shifting political trajectory of the therapeutic ethos in the postwar period in Anglo-American societies. In the postwar era, the therapeutic ethos attracted the attention of conservative cultural critics who described it as a destructive force on communal obligation. Initially, the therapeutic ethos appeared to align naturally with New Left ideas of democratization in the workplace and private sphere. However, I argue that the New Right was subsequently able to sever the therapeutic ethos from its alignment with social democratization by imbuing it with an alternative set of meanings centered on the ideas of market freedom and the entrepreneur. The result was the construction of the new, neoliberal forms of power, which, I argue, take the form of the management of subjectivity. Finally, I outline the two major social pathologies of the neoliberal era, namely, the consequences of its contractualized notion of citizenship and the explosion of social inequality, both of which are traceable to the influence of therapeutic notions of the self. © 2015 SAGE Publications.

Author Keywords
Citizenship; Democracy; Foucault; Neoliberalism; New left; Therapeutic ethos

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Ron Purser and Edwin Ng, Cutting Through the Corporate Mindfulness Hype, Part One Huffington Post, March 22, 2016

Michel Foucault made an astute observation: “You know the difference between a real science and a pseudoscience? A real science recognizes and accepts its own history without feeling attacked.” Hopefully, management science scholar-practitioners promoting corporate mindfulness research would contemplate on this statement.

Ron Purser and Edwin Ng, Mindfulness and Self-Care: Why Should I Care? Part Two, Huffington Post, April 6 2016


Though we are skeptical about celebratory claims, we actually do hope that mindfulness might become a disruptive technology to transform prevailing systems. However, we insist on the importance of collective attentiveness towards the workings of power, which have shaped the dominant individualistic-therapeutic approach to mindfulness and the stresses we face in our private and public lives.

I’d like to clarify the notion of governmentality that guides our work. The blended concept of govern-mentality derives from the work of Michel Foucault. Governmentality does not refer only to the processes of the state. Rather, to think about governmentality is to explore how diverse types of knowledge, expertise, and practices are developed to guide people’s voluntary conduct.

Consider, for instance, the contemporary interest in “wellness“. We learn about the research conducted by medical institutions on exercising or meditation. This knowledge filters through the advice we find in the media. With the help of a trained expert or through our independent efforts, we might cultivate a daily practice of jogging or yoga or mindfulness. Companies and institutions might incorporate a wellness program into their operations.

To put it another way, governmentality plays out formally and informally as the everyday “rules of the game” for responsible conduct. Under the conditions of neoliberal capitalism, the logics of governmentality are imbued with the moral rhetoric of “free choice” and are geared towards self-optimizing, consumerist and entrepreneurial ends.

Ron Purser, Ph.D.. is Professor of Management at San Francisco State University. His article, “Beyond McMindfulness,” in the Huffington Post went viral in 2013.
Edwin Ng, Ph.D., is an author and cultural theorist currently based in Australia. He has written commentaries on the cultural translation of Buddhism and mindfulness for Salon.com and the Buddhist Peace Fellowship.

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Johanna Oksala, Foucault, Marx and Neoliberal Subjects, Theory, Culture and SocietyFebruary 16, 2015

Daniel Zamora’s edited volume Critiquer Foucault: Les années 1980 et la tentation néolibérale, published in November 2014, has been the subject of a heated debate recently on the philosophical blogosphere. Many Foucault scholars have been puzzled and surprised by the stir it has caused. Verena Erlenbusch (2015) suggests that the controversy has more to do with Zamora’s interview with Jacobin Magazine, provocatively titled “Can We Criticize Foucault?” than with the book itself because many of the arguments presented in it are neither as revolutionary nor as provocative as the interview would make it seem. Stuart Elden (2014) notes that Zamora’s ‘revelations’ are not in fact based on any new material that would have come to light recently and that Foucault’s relationship with neoliberalism has already been subject to critical scrutiny for a number of years by a host of thinkers.

Source: Johanna Oksala on Foucault, Marx and Neoliberal Subjects

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Davies, W. (2012), The Emerging Neocommunitarianism. The Political Quarterly, 83: 767–776.
Full text on academia.edu

The financial crisis which began in 2007 has been widely interpreted as a crisis of neoliberalism, akin to the crisis of Keynesianism of the 1970s. But there is little sign of a major paradigmatic alternative, either in theory or in practice. This article looks at how the crises and failures of neoliberalism are occurring at a micro-policy level, where they are interpreted in terms of the fallibility of individual rational choice. Policy responses to this crisis, drawing on more psychologically nuanced accounts of economic behaviour, can be described as ‘neocommunitarian’, inasmuch as they echo the communitarian critique of the liberal self. Where neoliberalism rests on a vision of the individual as atomised and rational, neocommunitarianism treats individuals as governed by social norms and incentives simultaneously. And where neoliberalism subjects individuals to periodic audit organised around targets and outputs, neocommunitarianism conducts a constant audit of behavioural fluctuations in real time.

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Laurence McFalls & Mariella Pandolfi, Post-Liberalism, Academic Foresights, No. 5: July-September 2012

How do you analyze the present status of post-liberalism?

Post-liberalism is the currently emergent historical formation that has both grown out of and broken with liberalism and neo-liberalism. Like its antecedents, post-liberalism entails its own forms of truth, of subjectivity, and of power. In the terminology of Michel Foucault, it is a governmentality, that is, a mode of government drawing on its own typical (post-) political rationality, practices, techniques and agents.

We can initially define post-liberalism by distinguishing it from liberalism and neo-liberalism. From liberal governmentality post-liberalism retains the “conduct of conduct” through the manipulation of interests, and from neo-liberal economic theory it adopts the idea that the market as a locus of veridiction, that is, as a mechanism that empirically produces truth through prices, is not natural but rather a fragile social construct. Well beyond neo-liberalism’s reinforcement and redeployment of market mechanisms and privatization of social services, post-liberalism through its multiplication and radicalization of mechanisms for controlling human life more fundamentally, even ontologically, redefines the human experience, replacing the self-interested liberal subject and the neo-liberal entrepreneur of the self with what Michael Dillon and Julian Reid call the “biohuman.” Unlike both classic and neo-liberalism, post-liberalism collapses the distinction between the individual and the collectivity through what we call the therapeutic government of individual bodies understood and understandable as particularly configured and manipulable exemplars of the human species in its diversity, with each susceptible to its particular vulnerabilities. The post-liberal subject is a composite subject, contingently pieced together genetically and socially. Humans, of course, have always been such constructs, but today they are subjected to social scientific discourses and biomedical technologies ranging from “intersectionality” to genetic engineering that empty them of the transcendent qualities of the autonomous, rational (neo-)liberal subject. (Indeed, post-liberalism’s simultaneous government of individuals and populations can most easily be understood through one of the biomedical practices that inspire it, namely “personalized medicine,” or the use of genetic, molecular, and environmental profiling for the optimization of individual patients’ preventive or therapeutic care.)

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leshemDotan Leshem, The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling the Economy from Jesus to Foucault, Columbia University Press, 2016

Dotan Leshem recasts the history of the West from an economic perspective, bringing politics, philosophy, and economics closer together and revealing the significant role of Christian theology in shaping economic and political thought. He begins with early Christianity’s engagement with economic knowledge and the influence of this interaction on politics and philosophy. He then follows the secularization of economics in liberal and neoliberal theory, showing it to be a perversion of earlier communitarian tradition. Only by radically relocating the origins of modernity in late antiquity, Leshem argues, can we confront neoliberalism.

Introduction: Economy Before Christ
1. From Oikos to Ecclesia
2. Modeling the Economy
3. Economy and Philosophy
4. Economy and Politics
5. Economy and the Legal Framework
6. From Ecclesiastical to Market Economy

Dotan Leshem is senior lecturer in the department of government and political theory at the School of Political Sciences, University of Haifa.

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VII Jornadas Debates Actuales de la Teoría Política Contemporánea
El neoliberalismo a debate: hacia una genealogía del presente

17 y 18 de noviembre de 2016
Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Campus Miguelete, Universidad Nacional de San Martín

¿Cómo interpretar el neoliberalismo? Más allá de cualquier salida fácil que lo reduzca a una doctrina económica o a una ideología política, el neoliberalismo se ha vuelto un objeto elusivo, ya casi indistinguible por la forma que ha ido tomando: la de una suerte de gobierno de los vivos a través de la configuración de un ‘ethos’ empresarial. Por eso, nos proponemos pensar y debatir acerca de los discursos, las experiencias de lo común y de su negación, los dispositivos de control y gobierno, las formas de subjetivación, los procesos tecnológicos y las geografías que el neoliberalismo, como racionalidad gubernamental dominante, establece en la actualidad. En ese marco nos preguntamos por las modalidades con las cuales esta lógica transversal que gobierna la vida en un mundo globalizado establece sus dispositivos en los distintos campos que proponemos como ejes temáticos de estas Jornadas.

En ese sentido invitamos a encarar la cuestión del neoliberalismo desde distintas perspectivas temáticas y enfoques teóricos. La propuesta es pensar colectivamente al neoliberalismo y sus implicaciones desde distintos planteos, experiencias, y trabajos teóricos en el tema.

En Debates Actuales de la Teoría Política Contemporánea proponemos pensar “más allá del diagnóstico”, dar un paso más respecto a la reducción del fenómeno a la identificación de sus síntomas. Por el contrario, proponemos utilizar estos planteos teóricos para contribuir de manera concreta para transformar las formas y prácticas de saber que configuran las lógicas de poder de nuestro tiempo.

Ejes Temáticos:

Eje 1:“Teorías y políticas de lo común en la era neoliberal”. Coordinador: Matías Saidel (CONICET/UCSF, UNER)

Eje 2: “Territorios y espacios en el ensamblaje neoliberal”. Coordinador: Adrián Velázquez (IDAES/EH-UNSAM, CONICET)

Eje 3: “Artefactos y artificios neoliberales: técnicay tecnología en tiempos del gobierno de la(s) existencia(s)”. Coordinadores: Camilo Rios (UBA, IDAES/CONICET) y Jimmy Ortiz (UBA, IIGG/CONICET)

Eje 4: “Nuevas formas de gubernamentalidad: Neoliberalismo, Empresa y Deuda”. Coordinador: Emiliano Sacchi (CONICET/CEFC Comahue)

Eje 5: “Discurso, política y neoliberalismo”. Coordinador: Ricky Esteves (UBA/UNA)

El encuentro:

En las Jornadas proponemos una dinámica colectiva de trabajo que comienza compartiendo grupalmente las ideas principales de los textos presentados —lo que implica una dosis importante de protagonismo del participante—, y de registro de los trabajos escritos.

Las Jornadas Debates Actuales de la Teoría Política Contemporánea son un encuentro en el que la discusión grupal –basada en la lectura previa de los textos enviados– es la actividad principal del evento. La dinámica de las jornadas exige la participación a lo largo de dos días de discusiones grupales en los ejes temáticos y un debate plenario entre todos los participantes junto a los coordinadores.

El proceso de las Jornadas comienza un mes antes del encuentro con la publicación y distribución de los trabajos presentados por los participantes de cada eje temático (en nuestra web: teoriapoliticacontemporanea.org, con ISSN 2313-9609), para su lectura y posterior discusión en grupo, y finaliza con la selección y publicación de los trabajos destacados en formato digital como eBook con ISBN. Por esta razón, se especifican las características de formato que el texto debe cumplir para ser incluido en la publicación digital.

Las jornadas proponen una modalidad de participación y discusión grupal diferente a la de la mayoría de los encuentros académicos, que da lugar a los participantes a difundir su texto entre otros participantes –y el público en general con la posterior publicación de las actas–, discutir con ellos, y con los demás participantes de los distintos ejes, presentando diferentes miradas sobre la misma problemática: el neoliberalismo.

Las Jornadas se realizarán los días jueves 17 y viernes 18 del mes de noviembre de 2016 en la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina (toda la información será publicada oportunamente en nuestra web).

Fechas Importantes:

• Envío de resúmenes (ver especificaciones, más abajo): 16 de septiembre de 2016.
• Envío de textos (ver especificaciones, más abajo): 21 de octubre de 2016.
• Día del encuentro: jueves 17 y viernes 18 del mes de noviembre de 2016

Formatos y estilos para el envío de textos:

• Resúmenes:
o Archivo WORD (*.doc // *.docx)
o Hoja A4.
o Título del trabajo, nombre de autor(es), y adscripción institucional.
o Eje propuesto.
o CV del autor de hasta 200 palabras por cada autor.
o Resumen hasta 250 palabras.
o Hasta 5 palabras clave separadas por comas.
o Nombre del archivo: “Eje#_Apellido_RES” (Ej. “Eje4_Perez_RES.doc”

o Archivo WORD (*.doc // *.docx)
o Hoja A4.
o Letra Times New Roman, 12pts.
o Interlineado 1,5.
o Título del trabajo, nombre de autor(es), y adscripción institucional.
o Eje propuesto.
o Cuerpo del texto hasta de 8000 palabras (incluyendo pies de página, bibliografía, anexos, tablas, etc.).
o Sistema de citación y referencias APA.
o Citas textuales de más de 4 líneas, en párrafo aparte, entre comillas, y sangría a ambos lados.
o Nombre del archivo: “Eje#_Apellido_TEX” (Ej. “Eje4_Perez_TEX.doc”

Enfatizamos que se deben respetar los formatos propuestos para poder ser publicados. Todos los resúmenes y textos deben ser enviados tanto al correo del coordinador del eje propuesto y al correo de Debates Actuales (debatesactuales@gmail.com).

En la circular del año pasado figura una lista de hospedaje en Buenos Aires.


Los participantes y asistentes podrán inscribirse el día de las jornadas.

Participantes $300.- Asistentes $150.-
Incluye materiales, certificado, bebidas y café.
Otorgamos factura de pago.

Para Mayor Información:

Las Jornadas Debates Actuales de la Teoría Política Cuentan con la Adhesión Institucional de la Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la UBA y del Instituto de Altos Estudios Sociales de la UNSAM .

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