This powerful account of neoliberalism as a form of government by major French theorists Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval explores the genesis of neoliberalism—and the political and economic circumstances of its deployment—and dispels numerous common misconceptions about it.
Dardot and Laval argue that neoliberalism is neither a return to classical liberalism nor the restoration of “pure” capitalism and show that to misinterpret neoliberalism is to fail to understand what is new about it: far from viewing the market as a natural given that limits state action, neoliberalism seeks to construct the market and use it as a model for governments. Only once this concept is grasped will the opponents of neoliberalism be able to meet the unprecedented political and intellectual challenge it poses.
Historian and philosopher Philip Mirowski calls The New Way of the World: On Neoliberal Society “the best modern realization of Foucault’s pioneering approach to the history of neoliberalism.” The Los Angeles Review of Books calls the book “erudite and provocative.”
About The New Way Of The World
What is new about neoliberalism? Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval contend that it is more than just a new economic paradigm — it is a system for transforming the human subject. Rather than a return to classic liberalism, or the restoration of a ‘pure’, unconstrained market, neoliberalism envisages the modern corporation as a model for government, conjuring a future in which society is nothing other than a web of market-based relations.
Cutting through contemporary misunderstandings about its genesis and prevalence, Dardot and Laval distil neoliberalism to its core meaning and examine how it might be challenged on new political and intellectual terms.
About The New Way Of The World
Exploring the genesis of neoliberalism, and the political and economic circumstances of its deployment, Pierre Dardot and Christian Laval dispel numerous common misconceptions. Neoliberalism is neither a return to classical liberalism nor the restoration of “pure” capitalism. To misinterpret neoliberalism is to fail to understand what is new about it: far from viewing the market as a natural given that limits state action, neoliberalism seeks to construct the market and make the firm a model for governments. Only once this is grasped will its opponents be able to meet the unprecedented political and intellectual challenge it poses.
“The New Way of the World is the best modern realization of Foucault’s pioneering approach to the history of neoliberalism. It wonderfully explores the European roots and branches of the neoliberal thought collective over the twentieth century, and warns that unthinking misrepresentations of its political project as espousing ‘laissezfaire’ has had the effect of allowing the Left to submit to its siren song. Philip Mirowski, author of Science-Mart and Never Let a Serious Crisis go to Waste
“To understand these debates [on neoliberalism], the book by Christian Laval and Pierre Dardot on the ‘neoliberal society’ offers us analytical keys. This monument of scholarship draws on the history of ideas, philosophy and sociology.” —Le Monde
“Extremely scholarly, this book is an insistent invitation to push theoretical and social critique of the present order beyond the standard analyses.” —Le Monde diplomatique