view the success of neoliberalism (1) through the lens of Gramscian-state theory.
whereas ‘neoliberal rationality seeks to disseminate the model of the market to all domains and activities’ (Brown, 2015, p. 31, emphasis in the original)
the market model of citizenship
“a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade” (2005, p. 2).
Put otherwise: it is only by explicating the dominant meanings of ‘neoliberalism’ within the academic literature that it becomes clear how problematic much scholarship on the ‘neoliberal subject’ has become.
ndeed, everything from economic policies and institutions, state structures, development programmes, popular culture and everyday consciousness have been interpreted by academic onlookers as ‘neoliberal’ in character (see Flew, 2012). For this reason, a growing group of scholars across a host of fields have argued that ‘neoliberalism’ has become an ‘essentially contested’ (Boas & Gans-Morse, 2009), whose analytical usefulness is dubious (Clarke, 2008; Laidlaw, 2015; Mains, 2012; Welsh, 2020).
neoliberalism’ as a specific type of embodied subjectivity.
their commitment to personal freedom
an antipathy towards state interventionism
Wacquant (2010, p. 213) argues that neoliberalism remakes and redeploys the state in order to not only serve the class interests of global economic elites but also to ‘remake the nexus of market, state, and citizenship from above’.
o equate neoliberalism with ‘market fundamentalism’ is erroneous
Wacquant conceives of the neoliberal state as less nightwatchmen than Big Brother, aggressively active on a host of fronts: economic, social, penal and cultural.
the distinctive role
the Mont Pèlerin thought collective
Foucault’s approach is that he does not conceive of neoliberalism as an ideology but instead as a form of political rule, or what he calls an ‘art of government’ (Foucault, 2008, p. 318)
‘the economization of the entire social field’ (Foucault, 2008, p. 242).
presupposes a distinct type of subject,
entrepreneur of himself, being for himself his own capital, being for himself his own producer’ (Foucault, 2008, p. 242).
subjects of responsibility, autonomy and choice,
Sociologists seem to agree on the ‘centrality of the discourse of personal responsibility in the neoliberal era’ (Foster, 2016, p. 94). As Luxton (2010, p. 180) illustratively remarks in Neoliberalism in Everyday Life, ‘The extent to which people accept personal responsibility both reveals the depth to which neoliberal ideologies have penetrated personal life and shows the centrality of such ideologies for the success of neoliberalism’. Indeed, if one had to boil what it means to be a ‘neoliberal subject’ down to a single concept, ‘responsibilization’ – the process whereby individuals are ‘made responsible’ for their choices and actions, while the state increasingly surrenders responsibility for their health, economic security and well-being – would be a legitimate candidate.
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