The Neoliberalism Working Group was established in 2015 to interrogate theoretical perspectives on the nature of neoliberalism, drawing on legal, historical and philosophical sources. Meeting over a six month period, and culminating with a visit by noted economist historian Philip Mirowski in March 2018, the group's aim was neither to pin down what neoliberalism 'really' is, nor to decide whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, but to critically engage with a variety of arguments that have been associated with the term.
The purpose of such engagement is to familiarize ourselves with popular vocabularies of resistance while inoculating against the careless use of contested, politically-loaded terminology masquerading as conceptual analysis.
The group is not currently active.
Conveners: Liam McHugh-Russell (LAW), Julia Rone (SPS), Ola Innset (HEC)
Meetings, Autumn Term 2015:
Session 1 (October 2nd) - Classics of Neoliberal Thought (Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Gary Becker)
Session 2 (late October) - Idealist/Cultural Approaches (e.g. Wendy Brown, Michel Foucault, Dardot & Laval)
Session 3 (mid-November) - Political/Materialist Approaches (e.g. David Harvey, Ha Joon Chang, Stedman-Jones)
Session 4 (early December) - Contested Institutions of Market Rationality (e.g. Raymond Plant, Andrew Lang, Alasdair Roberts)